1. countable noun
As a result, planes were kept in a holding pattern, sometimes three or four miles
apart, until they were cleared to land.
2. countable noun
If something or someone is in a holding pattern
, they remain
in the same state or continue to do the same thing while waiting for something to
"The Hewlett-Packard news brings a better tone to the market, which has been in a
kind of holding pattern," said one trader.
I have lost a total of 19 pounds and have been pretty much in a holding pattern for
the past three to four weeks.
COBUILD Advanced English Dictionary. Copyright © HarperCollins Publishers