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hold up = delay, make someone be late

  • I 'm sorry I 'm late. I was held up at the office. 
  • I 'm sorry I 'm late. I was held up in the heavy traffic.
  • What is holding Mary up? She was supposed to be here half an hour ago.
  • I wanted to be here earlier but I got held up in the rain.
  • What is holding up progress in this country?
  • I got held up at work and I didn 't have time to go to the stores.
  • What is holding up the negotiations?
  • There is a lot I want to do but housework and taking care of the children are holding me up.
  • Lack of money is always holding up government plans to build a new hospital.
  • I wouldn 't want to hold you up. If you 're in a hurry, you can go.

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