Meaning of HALT in English


I. halt 1 /hɔːlt $ hɒːlt/ BrE AmE noun

[ Date: 1500-1600 ; Language: German ]

1 . [singular] a stop or pause:

Heavy snowfalls brought traffic to a halt (=made it stop moving) .

The World Championship was brought to a temporary halt (=was stopped from continuing) .

come/grind/screech etc to a halt (=stop moving or continuing)

The whole peace process seems to have ground to a halt.

The car skidded to a halt.

The President has called for a halt to the wave of emigration.

2 . call a halt (to something) to stop an activity from continuing:

I urge those responsible to call a halt to the violence.

3 . [countable] British English a place in the countryside where a train stops to let passengers get off, but where there is no station

• • •


■ verbs

▪ bring something to a halt (=make something or someone stop moving)

Paris was brought to a halt by striking transport workers.

▪ something/somebody comes to a halt (=something or someone stops moving)

In front of them, the truck gradually slowed down and came to a halt.

▪ something grinds to a halt (=something stops very slowly – used for emphasis)

Just ahead, he could see traffic grinding to a halt.

▪ something screeches/shudders/skids/jolts to a halt (=a vehicle stops very quickly and noisily – used for emphasis)

The car skidded to a halt and three men jumped out.

▪ something draws to a halt (=a vehicle slows down and stops)

As the train drew to a halt, people started to get off.

▪ call for a halt to something (=publicly ask for something to stop)

The government has called for a halt to the violence.

▪ order a halt to something (=officially say that something must stop)

Judge Marquez ordered a halt to logging on Indian lands.

▪ demand a halt to something (=firmly ask for something to stop)

Irish farmers demanded a halt to imports of British cattle.

▪ put a halt to something (=stop something suddenly)

The news put a halt to our celebrations.

■ adjectives

▪ an abrupt halt (=one that is sudden and unexpected)

His career came to an abrupt halt when he was seriously injured in a road accident.

▪ a sudden halt

My happiness was brought to a sudden halt by the death of my father.

▪ a premature halt (=one that is sooner than expected)

Bad weather brought the game to a premature halt.

▪ a temporary halt

The game was brought to a temporary halt when the floodlights failed.

▪ an immediate halt

The government called for an immediate halt to the fighting.

▪ a complete halt

Wendy had slowed down, almost to a complete halt.

▪ a grinding halt (=one that happens slowly – used for emphasis)

One accident can bring the whole road system to a grinding halt.

▪ a shuddering halt (=one in which a vehicle shakes noisily as it stops moving)

He slammed his foot on the brake pedal, bringing the truck to a shuddering halt.

II. halt 2 BrE AmE verb

1 . [transitive] to prevent someone or something from continuing – used especially in news reports SYN stop :

The government has failed to halt economic decline.

Safety concerns have led them to halt work on the dam.


Halt is mainly used in journalism. In everyday English, people usually say stop :

They had to stop the building work.

2 . [intransitive] to stop moving:

The parade halted by a busy corner.

3 . halt! used as a military order to tell someone to stop moving or soldiers to stop marching:

Company halt!

Halt! Who goes there?

Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English.      Longman - Словарь современного английского языка.