holding pattern
noun Date: circa 1952 1. the usually oval course flown (as over an airport) by aircraft awaiting clearance especially to land 2. a state of waiting or suspended activity or progress

New Collegiate Dictionary. 2001.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • holding pattern — holding .pattern n [C usually singular] 1.) the path that an aircraft flies along while it is waiting for permission to land 2.) a situation in which you cannot act because you are waiting for the result of something in a holding pattern ▪ My… …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • holding pattern — holding ,pattern noun count 1. ) the direction in the sky that an airplane follows as it waits for permission to land 2. ) MAINLY JOURNALISM a situation in which you stop what you are doing while you decide what to do next …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • holding pattern — n. 1. the course an airplane takes while circling an airport waiting for clearance to land 2. any period or state in which progress is interrupted or delayed …   English World dictionary

  • holding pattern — noun 1. a state of inaction with no progress and no change you should go into a holding pattern until he gets over his disappointment • Hypernyms: ↑inaction, ↑inactivity, ↑inactiveness 2. the flight path (usually circular) maintained by an… …   Useful english dictionary

  • holding pattern — UK / US noun [countable] Word forms holding pattern : singular holding pattern plural holding patterns 1) the direction in the sky that a plane follows as it waits for permission to land 2) mainly journalism a situation in which you stop what you …   English dictionary

  • holding pattern — noun a) A path taken by an aircraft waiting to land. The plane flew in a holding pattern for half an hour because one runway was closed. b) Any failure to advance; useless or unproductive activity. This project is in a holding pattern until all… …   Wiktionary

  • holding pattern — 1. a traffic pattern for aircraft at a specified location (holding point) where they are ordered to remain until permitted to land or proceed. 2. a state or period in which no progress or change is made or planned. [1950 55] * * * …   Universalium

  • holding pattern — noun the flight path maintained by an aircraft awaiting permission to land …   English new terms dictionary

  • holding pattern — noun (C) the line of travel that an aircraft follows as it flies over a landing place while it is waiting for permission to land …   Longman dictionary of contemporary English

  • holding pattern — hold′ing pat tern n. 1) aer. a traffic course held by aircraft at a specified location until cleared for landing 2) a condition of no progress or change • Etymology: 1950–55 …   From formal English to slang

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