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Related to on hold: put on hold
1. Lit. waiting; temporarily halted. The building project is on hold while we try to find money to complete it. We put our wedding plans on hold until we finished school.
2. Fig. left waiting on a telephone line. I hate to call up someone and then end up on hold. I waited on hold for ten minutes when I called city hall.
1. intentionally delayed The space launch is on hold until the weather clears.
Usage notes: often used in the form be on hold, as in the example
2. connected but waiting to speak to someone on the telephone Her line was busy, so the operator put me on hold.
Usage notes: often used in the form put someone on hold, as in the example
if you are on hold when you are using the telephone, you are waiting to speak to someone Ms Evans is on the other line at the moment - shall I put you on hold?
1. In a state of temporary interruption, but not disconnection, during a telephone call, as in While I was on hold, I checked my calendar for when I could schedule a meeting, or They had to put me on hold while they looked up my account. [c. 1960]
2. In a state of postponement or delay, as in When she was transferred, they had to put their romance on hold. This figurative usage is a broadened sense of def. 1. [Colloquial; c. 1970]
1. Into a state of temporary interruption without severing a telephone connection: put me on hold for 10 minutes.
2. Informal Into a state of delay or indeterminate suspension: had to put the romance on hold.