Is it grammatically correct to use the phrase "held up" in the following sense?

  • "I got held up with some other work", or
  • "Let's reschedule the meeting. Looks like you got held up."
  • What you are asking about is nothing to do with grammar (the sentences are clearly grammatical) but about the meaning of words and idioms. But as Eric says, they are fine in that sense too.
    – Colin Fine
    Jan 6, 2011 at 16:56

2 Answers 2


You can generally substitute "delayed" for "held up". Both of your examples read naturally to me.


The verb hold has many meanings and one of those is hold up which means to be delayed for something. So, an example could be: I was held up by the terrible downpour, so I could not make it on time.

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    Mar 2, 2016 at 15:06

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