Originating from a typo for "hold," it refers to the strategy of holding onto a cryptocurrency long-term rather than selling it.
The term "HODL" originated from a 2013 post on the Bitcoin Talk forums and it is a misspelling of the word "hold". In the context of cryptocurrencies, HODL refers to the act of buying and holding onto a cryptocurrency rather than selling it, even when faced with market volatility. It is often humorously expanded as "Hold On for Dear Life". The philosophy behind HODLing is that while the price of a cryptocurrency may fluctuate in the short term, it will increase in value in the long term.
During a market dip, a crypto investor might say they are "HODLing" their Bitcoin, meaning they will not sell their holdings despite the short-term drop in price.