Definition of hold off in English:

hold off

phrasal verb

  • 1(of bad weather) fail to occur.

    ‘fortunately, the rain held off until the evening’
    • ‘The sky was darkening but the rain was still just holding off.’
    • ‘The flower season is coming to an end but with some luck it could last another few weeks if frost holds off.’
    • ‘Storm clouds threatened throughout the walk, but the sun peeped through occasionally and the rain held off.’
    • ‘In some cases, entire families headed off, picnic in tow, hoping that the rain would hold off.’
    • ‘At least the weather held off this afternoon, and we could run.’
    • ‘Luckily the rain held off until the last game was played.’
    • ‘Hopefully, if the weather holds off for a few more days that might dry the land out enough to allow us to collect the crop some time next week, but if not, then we might find ourselves stuck.’
    • ‘The unsettled conditions over the past few days will almost certainly see the Ouse carrying additional water by Sunday but as long as the frost holds off, this might be no bad thing.’
    • ‘Provided the rain holds off, England should today complete one of their biggest ever wins.’
    • ‘Heavy rain and high winds held off until early Thursday night, when winds gusted to 84 kph.’
    1. 1.1 Delay or postpone an action or decision.
      ‘if I was in their shoes, I'd hold off for a couple of days’
      • ‘I thought my restlessness over the break and my inability to get on to any big tasks was evidence of my laziness, but I think it was just holding off until I could really get on to things again at work.’
      • ‘It could be that people are holding off until they know whether there is going to be an appeal.’
      • ‘They admit that they have not left lawmakers with much time, but said holding off until next year, an election year, would hurt the bill's chances even more.’
      • ‘I was barely 18, just out of high school, had no real obligations in my life and I was enjoying the hell out of the freedom that holding off on college afforded me.’
      • ‘An expert working group which reported to the Department of Justice a number of years ago recommended holding off on introducing tagging until more sophisticated technology came on stream.’
      • ‘You will hold off until everything meets with your approval.’
      • ‘Perhaps they're all holding off until next week when I'll have finished for the year.’
      • ‘In the end, the history of economic crises is clear on one important thing: the longer any economy holds off in facing its imbalances, the greater the possibility of a hard landing.’
      • ‘The group agrees to hold off on any real decisions until replacements are hired.’
      • ‘I asked my realtor what he thought; he advised that we hold off until we sold our house.’
      wait, hold back, pause, delay, hang back, hang fire, take no action, bide one's time, play a waiting game
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