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hold off

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phrasal verb
Word Forms
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present tense
I/you/we/theyhold off
he/she/itholds off
present participleholding off
past tenseheld off
past participleheld off
  1. 1
    [intransitive] to deliberately delay doing something

    He may decide to hold off for a few days.

    hold off on:

    How much longer can they hold off on political reform?

    hold off doing something:

    She held off calling him until the last possible moment.

  2. 2
    [transitive] to stop someone who is trying to attack you from coming close

    I held them off with bricks and stones.

  3. 3
    [transitive] mainly journalism to stop an opponent from starting to win or lead

    They held off a furious late challenge by Fiji to win 37–25.

    Synonyms and related words for this sense of hold off
  4. 4
    [transitive] to stop something from happening

    They can hold off the vote until the election.

  5. 5
    [intransitive] if rain or snow holds off, it does not fall, although you expected it to
    Synonyms and related words for this sense of hold off
See also main entry: hold

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