[ hohld-out ]
/ ˈhoʊldˌaʊt /
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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.
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“Was” is used for the indicative past tense of “to be,” and “were” is only used for the subjunctive past tense.

Origin of holdout

First recorded in 1890–95; noun use of verb phrase hold out
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2022

How to use holdout in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for holdout

hold out

verb (adverb)
noun holdout US
a person, country, organization, etc, that continues to resist or refuses to changeHonecker was one of the staunchest holdouts against reform
a person, country, organization, etc, that declines to cooperate or participatethey remain the only holdouts to signing the accord
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

Other Idioms and Phrases with holdout

hold out


Extend, stretch forth; also, present or offer something. For example, He held out his hand and she took it, or The new policy held out promise of major changes in the welfare program. These usages date from the first half of the 1500s and of the 1600s respectively.


Last, continue to be in supply or service, as in The food is holding out nicely. [Late 1500s] Also see hold up, def. 4.


Continue to resist, as in The garrison held out for another month. [Second half of 1700s]


Withhold cooperation, agreement, or information, as in We've asked for a better deal, but they've been holding out for months. It is also put as hold out on, as in They were still holding out on some of the provisions, or He's not telling us what happened; he's holding out on us.


hold out for. Insist on obtaining, as in The union is still holding out for a better contract. [c. 1900]

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