Definition of Holding pattern

1. Noun. A state of inaction with no progress and no change. "You should go into a holding pattern until he gets over his disappointment"

Generic synonyms: Inaction, Inactiveness, Inactivity

2. Noun. The flight path (usually circular) maintained by an aircraft that is awaiting permission to land.
Generic synonyms: Air Lane, Airway, Flight Path, Skyway

Definition of Holding pattern

1. Noun. A path taken by an aircraft waiting to land. ¹

2. Noun. (idiomatic) Any failure to advance; useless or unproductive activity. ¹

¹ Source:

Lexicographical Neighbors of Holding Pattern

holding all of the aces
holding all of the cards
holding all the aces
holding all the cards
holding back
holding cell
holding cells
holding companies
holding company
holding deal
holding device
holding fire
holding midfielder
holding off
holding out
holding pattern (current term)
holding patterns
holding the ball
holding the cards
holding up
holds a candle
holds back

Literary usage of Holding pattern

Below you will find example usage of this term as found in modern and/or classical literature:

1. The Military Dictionary (1987)
"... his reserves prematurely at an indecisive location. holding pattern mode—(DOD) Automatic control of an aircraft to fly the programmed holding pattern. ..."

2. Calcutta Review by University of Calcutta (1844)
"TABL EI General Land holding pattern in West Bengal after the implementation of the ceiling provisions under the West Bengal Estates Acquisition Act, 1953. ..."

3. Biographical Memoirs by National Academy Of Sciences, National Academy of Sciences Staff, Caroline K. McEuen (1980)
"Professor Randall arranged for the extension as what now would be called a "holding pattern." He wanted to hire David, but he would not have the position to ..."

4. Military Ethics: Reflections on Principles-The Profession of Arms, Military edited by Malham M. Wakin (1994)
"But in Vietnam, we followed a conservative strategy that only aimed to maintain a holding pattern. We looked for only those things which it is polite for ..."

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