withhold

verb
with·​hold | \ with-ˈhōld , wit͟h-\
withheld\ with-​ˈheld , 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

decline, deny, disallow, disapprove, negative, nix, refuse, reject, reprobate

Antonyms

allow, concede, grant, let, OK (or okay), permit

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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 resolution seeks to overturn a Treasury rule that allows politically active nonprofits to withhold donor-identifying information from the IRS. Michelle Ye Hee Lee, The Seattle Times, "Senate votes to overturn Trump administration donor disclosure rule for ‘dark money’ groups," 12 Dec. 2018 Now that its existence has been revealed, the Reporters Committee argues, there's no good reason to continue to withhold other details of the charges against Assange. Timothy B. Lee, Ars Technica, "Report: Charges against Assange relate to Russian hacking," 17 Nov. 2018 Judging by its recent decisions to withhold funding for major transit projects across the country, trains are clearly not the future that the Trump administration wants. Alissa Walker, Curbed, "How traveling abroad with kids showed me how to fix U.S. transit," 14 Sep. 2018 The senator has more than once threatened to withhold his vote on key Trump priorities citing ideological disagreements, most recently the nomination of Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. Catherine Lucey, Time, "President Trump Talks to Three More Candidates to Fill Justice Kennedy's Supreme Court Seat," 4 July 2018 Mr Leon was also unpersuaded by the DoJ’s argument that AT&T would threaten to withhold its content from rival distributors in order to raise prices. The Economist, "AT&T and Time Warner are cleared to merge," 14 June 2018 In early 2018, the IRS changed the default paycheck withholding tables, boosting take-home pay. Richard Rubin, WSJ, "IRS Offers Penalty Reprieve to Taxpayers Adjusting to New Law," 16 Jan. 2019 If Democrats can stick together in withholding votes for Trump’s border wall, the president will eventually be forced to cave — or risk telling Border Patrol or TSA officers that their paychecks will have to wait a little bit longer. Tara Golshan, Vox, "This could be a really long government shutdown," 21 Dec. 2018 Those impeachment articles accused Rosenstein of intentionally withholding documents and information from Congress, failure to comply with congressional subpoenas and abuse of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA). Alex Pappas, Fox News, "Meadows calls for Rosenstein to testify this week over 'wire' comments," 25 Sep. 2018

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

8 Feb 2019

Look-up Popularity

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

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 , wit͟h-\
withheld\ -​ˈheld \; withholding

Kids Definition of withhold

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

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More from Merriam-Webster on withhold

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with withhold

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for withhold

Spanish Central: Translation of withhold

Nglish: Translation of withhold for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of withhold for Arabic Speakers

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