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

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 identity of the victim is being withheld pending notification of next of kin. Nick Powell, Houston Chronicle, "Police investigating a homicide at a League City apartment complex," 6 Sep. 2019 Names of those missing and dead are being withheld pending next-of-kin notifications. Dakota Smith, Los Angeles Times, "California boat fire: ‘Devastating. Tragic.’ Frantic family and friends await answers," 2 Sep. 2019 The service member's identity was being withheld until family could be notified. CBS News, "NATO reports death of U.S. service member in Afghanistan," 30 Aug. 2019 In deciding in favor of The Koala, the appellate court first considered whether withholding a subsidy was roughly equivalent to imposing a tax. Jack Greiner, Cincinnati.com, "Strictly Legal: Koala wins first amendment battle," 6 Aug. 2019 The victim’s identity was being withheld pending family notification. Forum News Service, Twin Cities, "Man, 49, drowns while swimming in Alexandria-area lake," 24 July 2019 Data from years beyond 2012 are still being withheld to protect the companies and DOJ investigations. Beth Mole, Ars Technica, "DEA tracked every opioid pill sold in the US. The data is out—and it’s horrific," 17 July 2019 The name of the inmate was being withheld pending notification of his family. Steve Rubenstein, SFChronicle.com, "Jail inmate with chest pain dies in San Jose hospital," 5 July 2019 The driver, whose name is being withheld by homicide detectives for his protection, was shot in the leg, Carter said. Tonya Alanez, sun-sentinel.com, "Shooter on loose after gunfire kills car passenger and injures driver," 5 July 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

4 Oct 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 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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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

Comments on withhold

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