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verb sus·pend \sə-ˈspend\

Simple Definition of suspend

  • : to force (someone) to leave a job, position, or place for a usually short period of time as a form of punishment

  • : to stop (something) for a usually short period of time

  • : to make (something) happen later : to delay (something)

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of suspend

  1. transitive verb
  2. 1 :  to debar temporarily especially from a privilege, office, or function <suspend a student from school>

  3. 2a :  to cause to stop temporarily <suspend bus service>b :  to set aside or make temporarily inoperative <suspend the rules>

  4. 3 :  to defer to a later time on specified conditions <suspend sentence>

  5. 4 :  to hold in an undetermined or undecided state awaiting further information <suspend judgment> <suspend disbelief>

  6. 5a :  hang; especially :  to hang so as to be free on all sides except at the point of support <suspend a ball by a thread>b :  to keep from falling or sinking by some invisible support (as buoyancy) <dust suspended in the air>c :  to put or hold in suspension <suspended sediment>

  7. 6a :  to keep fixed or lost (as in wonder or contemplation)b :  to keep waiting in suspense or indecision

  8. 7 :  to hold (a musical note) over into the following chord

  9. intransitive verb
  10. 1 :  to cease operation temporarily

  11. 2 :  to stop payment or fail to meet obligations

  12. 3 :  hang

Examples of suspend in a sentence

  1. He was suspended from the team for missing too many practices.

  2. The police officers were suspended without pay for their conduct.

  3. The principal suspended the student from school for fighting.

  4. The city suspended bus service during the storm.

  5. The company was forced to suspend operations.

  6. They have suspended the peace talks.

  7. I advise suspending judgment until the investigation is over.

  8. Her license to practice law was suspended.

  9. We can suspend the rules just this once.

  10. He's driving with a suspended license.

Origin of suspend

Middle English, from Anglo-French suspendre, from Latin suspendere, from sub-, sus- up + pendere to cause to hang, weigh

First Known Use: 14th century

Synonym Discussion of suspend

defer, postpone, suspend, stay mean to delay an action or proceeding. defer implies a deliberate putting off to a later time <deferred buying a car until spring>. postpone implies an intentional deferring usually to a definite time <the game is postponed until Saturday>. suspend implies temporary stoppage with an added suggestion of waiting until some condition is satisfied <business will be suspended while repairs are under way>. stay often suggests the stopping or checking by an intervening agency or authority <the governor stayed the execution>.

SUSPEND Defined for Kids


verb sus·pend \sə-ˈspend\

Definition of suspend for Students


  1. 1 :  to force to give up some right or office for a time <The cheater was suspended from school.>

  2. 2 :  to hang especially so as to be free except at one point <A light bulb was suspended from the ceiling.>

  3. 3 :  to stop or do away with for a time <The principal is suspending a rule.>

  4. 4 :  to stop operation or action for a time <All business suspended during the storm.>

Word Root of suspend

The Latin word pendere, meaning “to cause to hang down,” gives us the root pend. Words from the Latin pendere have something to do with hanging. To suspend is to cause something to hang down from a single point. To depend is to hang, or rely, on the support of others. A pendant is an ornament that hangs free, as on a necklace. A pendulum is an object hung from a point that swings freely back and forth, as in a clock.

Law Dictionary


transitive verb sus·pend

Legal Definition of suspend

  1. 1 :  to debar temporarily from a privilege, office, or function

  2. 2a :  to stop temporarily <suspend trading> b :  to make temporarily ineffective <suspend a license> c :  stay <suspend a hearing> d :  to defer until a later time — see also suspended sentence at sentence

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