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holding pattern

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noun
  1. a traffic pattern for aircraft at a specified location (holding point) where they are ordered to remain until permitted to land or proceed.
  2. 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. 2018

Related Words

limbo

British Dictionary definitions for holding pattern

holding pattern

noun
  1. the oval or circular path of an aircraft flying around an airport awaiting permission to land
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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