1. faltering or hesitating, especially in speech.
  2. faulty or imperfect.
  3. limping or lame: a halting gait.

verb (used without object)

  1. to stop; cease moving, operating, etc., either permanently or temporarily: They halted for lunch and strolled about.

verb (used with object)

  1. to cause to stop temporarily or permanently; bring to a stop: They halted operations during contract negotiations.


  1. a temporary or permanent stop.


  1. (used as a command to stop and stand motionless, as to marching troops or to a fleeing suspect.)

verb (used without object)

  1. to falter, as in speech, reasoning, etc.; be hesitant; stumble.
  2. to be in doubt; waver between alternatives; vacillate.
  3. Archaic. to be lame; walk lamely; limp.


  1. Archaic. lame; limping.


  1. Archaic. lameness; a limp.
  2. (used with a plural verb) lame people, especially severely lamed ones (usually preceded by the): the halt and the blind.


  1. hesitanthalting speech
  2. lame


  1. an interruption or end to activity, movement, or progress
  2. mainly British a minor railway station, without permanent buildings
  3. call a halt to put an end (to something); stop

noun, sentence substitute

  1. a command to halt, esp as an order when marching


  1. to come or bring to a halt

verb (intr)

  1. (esp of logic or verse) to falter or be defective
  2. to waver or be unsure
  3. archaic to be lame


  1. archaic
    1. lame
    2. (as collective noun; preceded by the)the halt


  1. archaic lameness

“act of limping or walking lamely,” early 14c., verbal noun from halt (v.). Related: Haltingly.


“a stop, a halting,” 1590s, from French halte (16c.) or Italian alto, ultimately from German Halt, imperative from Old High German halten “to hold” (see hold (v.)). A German military command borrowed into the Romanic languages 16c. The verb in this sense is from 1650s, from the noun. Related: Halted; halting.


“lame,” in Old English lemphalt “limping,” from Proto-Germanic *haltaz (cf. Old Saxon, Old Frisian halt, Old Norse haltr, Old High German halz, Gothic halts “lame”), from PIE *keld-, from root *kel- “to strike, cut,” with derivatives meaning “something broken or cut off” (cf. Russian koldyka “lame,” Greek kolobos “broken, curtailed”). The noun meaning “one who limps; the lame collectively” is from c.1200.


“to walk unsteadily,” early 14c., from Old English haltian “to be lame,” from the same source as halt (adj.). The meaning “make a halt” is 1650s, from halt (n.). As a command word, attested from 1796. Related: Halted; halting.

see call a halt; come to a halt; grind to a halt.

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