a traffic pattern for aircraft at a specified location (holding point) where they are ordered to remain until permitted to land or proceed.
a state or period in which no progress or change is made or planned.
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Origin of holding pattern
First recorded in 1950–55
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019
British Dictionary definitions for holding pattern
the oval or circular path of an aircraft flying around an airport awaiting permission to land
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