Definition of on hold in US English:

on hold


  • 1Waiting to be connected while making a telephone call.

    • ‘However for consumers, five minutes of waiting on hold, can undo years of advertising and brand exposure.’
    • ‘People trapped in fires don't want to be stuck on hold listening to Vivaldi's Four Seasons’
    • ‘I was put on hold, and when the person came back I was told that all appeared to be in order.’
    • ‘Honestly, what a nerve - them ringing you up to put you on hold until they have someone free to talk to you.’
    • ‘The call was charged at premium rate, I was put on hold until nearly £5 of credit had been used.’
    • ‘I called this place and asked to be put on hold, curious what the music would sound like.’
    • ‘She put me on hold and then sure enough, I was talking with Jim Holman.’
    • ‘Before the befuddled caller could reply, she placed him on hold again.’
    • ‘People trying to contact the council by phone have complained of being put on hold for long periods or waiting’
    • ‘Businesses even need a licence to play music on their telephone line when customers are put on hold.’
    1. 1.1 Temporarily not being dealt with or pursued.
      ‘he put his career on hold’
      • ‘The project was then put on hold indefinitely until such time that funding could be made available.’
      • ‘Then, once he had sampled the life of the full-time sportsman, he decided to stay on, and put his studies on hold.’
      • ‘We believe it is quite proper that those changes should be put on hold pending that investigation.’
      • ‘But discussions look set to be put on hold because of an ongoing problem regarding the new access road.’
      • ‘In effect, this means the roadworks programme has been put on hold until after the April meeting.’
      • ‘Many deals have been put on hold, and may be shelved for months if the market falls flat on its face for a prolonged period.’
      • ‘It will not be surprising if all football activities are put on hold because of these ongoing squabbles.’
      • ‘When he found out about his dad's illness, he was busy writing and recording his new album - but all that went on hold.’
      • ‘I want to put everything on hold and take off into the hills for a few days.’
      • ‘When he didn't hear from us, he assumed the project must be on hold.’
      postpone, put off, put back, hold off, defer, delay, adjourn, shelve, suspend, hold in abeyance
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