Definition of holdup in US English:



  • 1A situation that causes delay, especially to a journey.

    • ‘The latest delay was caused by hold-ups in the consultation process.’
    • ‘According to a council spokesman the delays stretched throughout the one-way system, with particularly bad hold-ups in Buckhold Road.’
    • ‘If someone already has half a day to spare to make this journey, they are not going to be so worried at losing the time they already build into their journeys to account for the delays and hold-ups they expect to encounter.’
    • ‘Diversions around the maintenance work caused weekend traffic hold-ups.’
    • ‘Frustrating hold-ups and delays during construction have been managed well by the family and surprisingly have not pushed building costs hugely over budget.’
    • ‘His concern continues to be the hold-up in the rebuilding of the hospital.’
    • ‘Lengthy traffic jams and hold-ups are now a daily norm with an estimated 700 plus vehicles being carried on this roadway at evening peak time.’
    • ‘Traffic hold-ups reached a peak on Thursday when Cumbria police dispatched officers after receiving calls reporting ‘complete gridlock’.’
    • ‘But the little hold-up might have something to do with the money needed for the project.’
    • ‘Among other problems they cause serious hold-ups for the emergency services.’
    • ‘The A64 hold-ups delay deliveries and meetings.’
    • ‘The hold-up at the Ballymote Road with the use of emergency traffic lights is still an issue, much to the irritation of the motoring public and residents of that road.’
    • ‘It is likely that there will still be some hold-ups and bottlenecks until problems presented by the next stretch of the route have been tackled to enable traffic to flow smoothly from the Aire Valley into Bradford and on to the motorway.’
    • ‘But a lengthy hold-up over the signing of contracts could stall the launch until summer 2005, meaning it will not now be open for the money-spinning Christmas period.’
    • ‘They said the hold-up was due to delays in calculating departmental budgets.’
    • ‘But a number of those schemes are being delayed by hold-ups in the approval process.’
    • ‘The A19 northbound remained closed for more than seven hours, with diversions in place, but North Yorkshire police reported no additional hold-ups or congestion as a result.’
    • ‘But he insisted the Government was not dragging its feet and blamed legal complexities for hold-ups.’
    • ‘Traffic hold-ups at railway level crossings will considerably increase with more trains, the traffic study has found.’
    • ‘The only hold-up we encountered was waiting quite a while to get drawings through from the architects.’
    delay, setback, hitch, snag, difficulty, problem, issue, trouble, wait, waiting period, stoppage
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  • 2A robbery conducted with the use of threats or violence.

    ‘three dead in armored car holdup’
    • ‘The newly-released quarterly figures highlighted a dramatic turnaround in the force's performance in tackling muggings and other violent hold-ups.’
    • ‘According to the French Banking Federation, bank robberies have been increasing and there are about five bank-related hold-ups a day in France.’
    • ‘Derrick says he has one member who has been involved in 17 armed hold-ups and could no longer work in a bank.’
    • ‘Since that traumatic ordeal, he and his mother have been subjected to two hold-ups at their home, the last occasion, the criminal was holding a knife to my godson's neck.’
    • ‘We speak with victims of armed robbery about coping with the physical and mental aftermath of a hold-up; their role in criminal investigations, and getting access to crimes compensation.’
    • ‘In this exploration of armed hold-ups, convicted armed robbers speak candidly about how they conduct their crimes and about the terror that they deliberately create.’
    • ‘The two men turned out to be members of a vicious gang of four armed robbers who were responsible for eight separate shootings and 20 hold-ups throughout West Yorkshire.’
    • ‘She said a ‘real spate’ of armed hold-ups, burglaries and car thefts had left the local community feeling scared and vulnerable.’
    • ‘Police remained tight-lipped about the incident but according to reports, around 4 am, a man armed with a gun entered the restaurant and announced a hold-up.’
    • ‘During questioning the two men denied any involvement in the hold-ups but yesterday they finally admitted the offences.’
    • ‘Police have not ruled out a connection between these two raids and a hold-up at a post office last Monday.’
    • ‘The four men, two of whom were armed, entered the building and announced a hold-up at around 10.30 pm, when the store was about to close, police said.’
    • ‘The rate of violent crime is alarmingly high: in 2004 over 2000 murders were committed as well as countless vehicle hold-ups carried out at gun point.’
    • ‘It was not known whether there is a link between the raid and the armed hold-ups.’
    • ‘If you track the armed hold-ups that we've seen in our industry for the last few years, there are some very clear signs of risk factors that the banks should be taking more note of and should be dealing with on a proactive basis.’
    • ‘A robber who stole almost $15,000 in an armed hold-up of a Tasmanian bank had been inspired by a movie he had watched with a girlfriend the night before.’
    • ‘Some 100 retailers were contacted for the purpose of the survey and asked if they always made insurance claims following a hold-up or break-in.’
    • ‘Caught in the middle of a hold-up at the store, Jack courageously disarms the gunman.’
    • ‘A gang of robbers in Japan stole R2,7million in a bank hold-up in Fukuoka, then caught a bullet train.’
    • ‘Many burglaries, hold-ups and car thefts are also never properly investigated.’
    robbery, raid, armed robbery, armed raid, theft, burglary, mugging
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