[ hohld-uhp ]
See synonyms for holdup on Thesaurus.com
  1. a forcible stopping and robbing of a person.

  2. a stop or delay in the progress of something: There was a holdup in the construction of the bridge.

  1. an instance of being charged excessively.

Origin of holdup

1830–40, Americanism; noun use of verb phrase hold up

Words Nearby holdup

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use holdup in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for hold-up


  1. a robbery, esp an armed one

  2. a delay; stoppage

  1. US an excessive charge; extortion

  2. (usually plural) a stocking that is held up by an elasticated top without suspenders

verbhold up (adverb)
  1. (tr) to delay; hinder: we were held up by traffic

  2. (tr) to keep from falling; support

  1. (tr) to stop forcibly or waylay in order to rob, esp using a weapon

  2. (tr) to exhibit or present: he held up his achievements for our admiration

  3. (intr) to survive or last: how are your shoes holding up?

  4. bridge to refrain from playing a high card, so delaying the establishment of (a suit)

  5. hold up one's hands to confess a mistake or misdeed

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 holdup


Offer or present as an example, as in The teacher held Bernie's essay up as a model for the class to follow. [c. 1600]

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