Put on hold

Put on hold is a twentieth century idiom. We will examine the meaning of the common saying put on hold, where it came from, and some examples of its idiomatic usage in sentences.

Put on hold is an idiom that means to delay, to suspend, to pause. When something is said to be put on hold, it is usually with the expectation that it will resume at some point—though it does not always resume. Related phrases are puts on hold and putting on hold. The phrase put on hold came into use in the early 1960s; it originated in the U.S. space program. The term was used when a scheduled space launch had to be suspended; sometimes temporarily and sometimes permanently. The idiom put on hold was then quickly applied to temporarily suspending a phone conversation while the caller waited on the line. Today, the phrase is an idiom that can be applied in any situation.


 “We ended up moving forward with it and we didn’t have all of the rights in place — I guess there were still some legalities that needed to come into place that put it on hold.” (Seventeen Magazine)

So, that means Louisville’s annual events that usually draw thousands will be put on hold for at least a few more months. (Courier-Journal)

A legal challenge to cuts in Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) payments has been put on hold amid a public consultation on the scheme’s potential shutdown. (Belfast Telegram)