Origin of halt

1615–25; from the phrase make halt for German halt machen.See hold1

synonym study for halt

2. See stop.

Definition for halt (2 of 2)

[ hawlt ]
/ hɔlt /

verb (used without object)

to falter, as in speech, reasoning, etc.; be hesitant; stumble.
to be in doubt; waver between alternatives; vacillate.
Archaic. to be lame; walk lamely; limp.


Archaic. lame; limping.


Archaic. lameness; a limp.
(used with a plural verb) lame people, especially severely lamed ones (usually preceded by the): the halt and the blind.

Origin of halt

First recorded before 900; Middle English; Old English healt; cognate with Old High German halz, Old Norse haltr, Gothic halts, akin to Latin clādēs “damage, loss”


haltless, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

Example sentences from the Web for halt

British Dictionary definitions for halt (1 of 2)

/ (hɔːlt) /


an interruption or end to activity, movement, or progress
mainly British a minor railway station, without permanent buildings
call a halt to put an end (to something); stop

noun, sentence substitute

a command to halt, esp as an order when marching


to come or bring to a halt

Word Origin for halt

C17: from the phrase to make halt, translation of German halt machen, from halten to hold 1, stop

British Dictionary definitions for halt (2 of 2)

/ (hɔːlt) /

verb (intr)

(esp of logic or verse) to falter or be defective
to waver or be unsure
archaic to be lame


  1. lame
  2. (as collective noun; preceded by the)the halt


archaic lameness

Word Origin for halt

Old English healt lame; related to Old Norse haltr, Old High German halz lame, Greek kólos maimed, Old Slavonic kladivo hammer
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Idioms and Phrases with halt


see call a halt; come to a halt; grind to a halt.

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.