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90s Slang You Should Know


[hohld-uhp] /ˈhoʊldˌʌp/
a forcible stopping and robbing of a person.
a stop or delay in the progress of something:
There was a holdup in the construction of the bridge.
an instance of being charged excessively.
Origin of holdup
1830-40, Americanism; noun use of verb phrase hold up Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for holdup
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • A car of the same make, model and color was stolen from Annapolis, Maryland, a short time prior to the holdup.

    Code Three Rick Raphael
  • The two craft drew together, and for the rest it was like the other holdup.

    The Wreck of the Titan Morgan Robertson
  • He stood, boiling with rage, while they alternately hurled questions at him and told him of the holdup.

    The Coyote James Roberts
  • The burglar and holdup man are high-minded gentlemen by comparison.

  • The crime-wave was unknown, the daylight holdup unprecedented.

  • A holdup by all the people of all the people for all the people is Liberty.

    The Ghost in the White House Gerald Stanley Lee
  • He remembered the two objects he had picked up in the road after the holdup and felt in his pocket to make sure they were there.

    The Coyote James Roberts
Slang definitions & phrases for holdup



: the full-fledged hold-up business


  1. A robbery, esp the armed robbery of a person, bank, store, etc; stickup: Give us no nonsense. This is a holdup (1851+)
  2. The demanding of exorbitant prices, wages, etc: That was no sale, it was a holdup
  3. A delay; stoppage; cause of delay: a brief holdup in our magnificent progress/ What's the holdup? (1843+)
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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