American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- n. A usually circular pattern flown by aircraft awaiting clearance to land at an airport.
- n. Informal A state of waiting or delay; a static situation: environmental groups that wish to put oil exploration into a holding pattern.
- n. A path taken by an aircraft waiting to land.
- n. idiomatic Any failure to advance; useless or unproductive activity.
- n. a state of inaction with no progress and no change
- n. the flight path (usually circular) maintained by an aircraft that is awaiting permission to land
“The stalemates could shift into a deeper holding pattern in August during the Islamic holy month of Ramadan, when the pace of daily life traditionally slows as the Islamic world observes a dawn-to-dusk fast and other customs such as temporary truces.”
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good grief, I'm getting irritable.
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