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holding pattern

a traffic pattern for aircraft at a specified location (holding point) where they are ordered to remain until permitted to land or proceed.
a state or period in which no progress or change is made or planned.
1950-55 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for holding pattern
  • Hotels and other facilities are waiting to book football weekends, leaving fall brides in a holding pattern.
  • Families are weathering the recession by moving into a holding pattern: fewer divorces, fewer marriages, postponed children.
  • Nothing invites mediocrity, complacency and non-think more than colleagues that are in a holding pattern over our campus.
British Dictionary definitions for holding pattern

holding pattern

the oval or circular path of an aircraft flying around an airport awaiting permission to land
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
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Slang definitions & phrases for holding pattern

holding pattern

Related Terms

in a holding pattern

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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