withhold

verb
with·​hold | \ with-ˈhōld How to pronounce withhold (audio) , wit͟h-\
withheld\ with-​ˈheld How to pronounce withheld (audio) , wit͟h-​ \; withholding

Definition of withhold

transitive verb

1 : to hold back from action : check
2 archaic : to keep in custody
3 : to refrain from granting, giving, or allowing withhold permission
4 : to deduct (withholding tax) from income

intransitive verb

: forbear, refrain withhold from commenting

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Other Words from withhold

withholder noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for withhold

Synonyms

Antonyms

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Choose the Right Synonym for withhold

keep, retain, detain, withhold, reserve mean to hold in one's possession or under one's control. keep may suggest a holding securely in one's possession, custody, or control. keep this while I'm gone retain implies continued keeping, especially against threatened seizure or forced loss. managed to retain their dignity even in poverty detain suggests a delay in letting go. detained them for questioning withhold implies restraint in letting go or a refusal to let go. withheld information from the authorities reserve suggests a keeping in store for future use. reserve some of your energy for the last mile

Examples of withhold in a Sentence

She was accused of withholding evidence. She has $20 withheld from her paycheck every week.
Recent Examples on the Web The House is investigating whether Trump violated his oath of office by pushing Ukraine’s president to investigate Democrats, including Joe Biden, while the administration was withholding military funds for the East European ally. BostonGlobe.com, "WASHINGTON — The view among the national security officials was unanimous: Military aid to Ukraine should not be stopped by the White House.," 12 Nov. 2019 The House is investigating whether Trump violated his oath of office by pushing Ukraine’s president to investigate Democrats, including Joe Biden, while the administration was withholding military funds for the East European ally. Washington Post, "DoD witness said officials objected to stopping Ukraine aid," 11 Nov. 2019 Tax withholding on retirement income is usually voluntary, but paying the actual tax is mandatory. Liz Weston, oregonlive, "Liz Weston: Get professional help before withdrawing retirement funds," 10 Nov. 2019 That squad was criticized in a 2018 U.S. Marshals Service report for withholding food as punishment to inmates, threatening inmates and using excessive force. Adam Ferrise, cleveland, "Cuyahoga County Jail officer accused of punching inmate secured on ground," 7 Nov. 2019 For decades, Loynaz lived alone in a mansion at the center of Havana, writing enigmatic, evocative poems—many of them just one line—that could be both deeply confessional and stubbornly withholding. Joe Fassler, The Atlantic, "How Solitude Feeds the Brain," 31 Oct. 2019 Investigators are withholding that vehicle description from the public, Shannon said. Jay R. Jordan, Houston Chronicle, "18-year-old killed while pumping gas in west Harris County," 25 Oct. 2019 The conversion of workers to employee status may create sick leave and other obligations for the HOA, including of course payroll withholding duties. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Many new laws will affect HOAs in 2020," 19 Oct. 2019 The applications are public records but the district’s lawyer withheld their release until after the board vote last month. Krista Torralva, ExpressNews.com, "South San trustees table vote on District 1 appointment," 16 Oct. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'withhold.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of withhold

13th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

History and Etymology for withhold

Middle English, from with from + holden to hold — more at with

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Statistics for withhold

Last Updated

15 Nov 2019

Time Traveler for withhold

The first known use of withhold was in the 13th century

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More Definitions for withhold

withhold

verb

Financial Definition of withhold

What It Is

Withholding refers to withholding tax, which is an amount that employers withhold from an employee's paycheck and remit to local and federal taxing authorities on behalf of the employee.

How It Works

For example, let's say John Doe's salary is $24,000 a year. Though he makes $2,000 a month, he only brings home $1,800 because his employer takes $200 out of his paycheck and remits it to the state and the federal government on his behalf. The payments go toward John Doe's federal income tax, state income tax, unemployment, and Medicare liabilities.

The amount of withholding is influenced by what John Doe puts on his IRS Form W-4 ("Employee's Withholding Allowance Certificate"), which he provides to the employer and on which he indicates how many dependents he has and his marital status, among other things. A copy goes directly to the IRS. Generally, the more allowances the employee claims on a Form W-4, the lower the withholding tax.

Withholding tax applies to income earned through wages, pensions, bonuses, commissions, and gambling winnings. Dividends and capital gains, for example, are not subject to withholding tax. Self-employed people generally don't pay withholding taxes; they typically make quarterly estimated payments instead.

Why It Matters

Withholding tax prevents people from being blindsided by huge tax bills on April 15. By having their employers remit a little out of each paycheck, federal and local governments also ensure steady cash flow throughout the year and reduce the risk that taxpayers will be unable to pay their taxes. A person's tax liability may still be more or less than what he or she pays in withholding taxes in a year. In those cases, the taxpayer may have to pay more money on April 15 or may receive a tax refund. It is important to note that accuracy in payroll is crucial; any mistakes in remitting withholding tax are generally the taxpayer's problem even if they are the employer's fault.

Source: Investing Answers

withhold

verb
How to pronounce withhold (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of withhold

: to hold (something) back
: to refuse to provide (something)
US : to take out (an amount of money for taxes) from someone's income

withhold

verb
with·​hold | \ with-ˈhōld How to pronounce withhold (audio) , wit͟h-\
withheld\ -​ˈheld \; withholding

Kids Definition of withhold

: to refuse to give, grant, or allow The teacher withheld permission.

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Comments on withhold

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