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[hohld-out] /ˈhoʊldˌaʊt/
an act or instance of holding out.
a person who delays signing a contract in hopes of gaining more favorable terms:
The basketball star was a holdout until they offered more money.
a person who declines to participate, cooperate, agree, etc.:
Aside from one or two holdouts, everyone contributed.
Origin of holdout
First recorded in 1890-95; noun use of verb phrase hold out Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for holdout
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • A better machine than the Kepplinger, of San Francisco, holdout.

    Sharps and Flats John Nevil Maskelyne
  • The next form of holdout which falls beneath our notice is that known as the 'Cuff holdout.'

    Sharps and Flats John Nevil Maskelyne
  • This holdout works in shirt sleeves and holds the cards in the same place as a cuff-pocket.

    Sharps and Flats John Nevil Maskelyne
  • The earliest account we have of anything in the holdout line is the cuff-box described by Houdin.

    Sharps and Flats John Nevil Maskelyne
  • From the holdout, the cord which works the slide is led to the elbow-joint, where it passes around a pulley (c).

    Sharps and Flats John Nevil Maskelyne
  • The effect of the holdout when used in the game of Poker, as described in the last chapter, is to work the top-stock for draught.

    Sharps and Flats John Nevil Maskelyne
  • Whilst shuffling the cards, the dealer causes the holdout to add the 'odd' card to the pack.

    Sharps and Flats John Nevil Maskelyne
Slang definitions & phrases for holdout



  1. A person, esp a professional athlete, who refuses to sign a contract until the salary is raised (1911+)
  2. A person who refuses to agree to something: coerce reluctant hold-outs into ''kicking in'' (1940s+)
  3. A playing card sneakily kept from the deck by the dealer (1894+ Gambling)
The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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