1

cease

verb \ ˈsēs \
Updated on: 10 Dec 2017

Definition of cease

ceased; ceasing
transitive verb
: to cause to come to an end especially gradually : no longer continue
  • they were forced to cease operations
  • cease to exist
intransitive verb
1 a : to come to an end
  • the fighting gradually ceased
b : to bring an activity or action to an end : discontinue
  • they have been ordered to cease and desist
2 obsolete : to become extinct : die out

Examples of cease in a Sentence

  1. The fighting along the border has temporarily ceased.

  2. The factory ceased operations last year.

  3. The child would not cease his constant whining.

Recent Examples of cease from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'cease.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Origin and Etymology of cease

Middle English cesen, from Anglo-French cesser, from Latin cessare to hold back, be remiss, frequentative of cedere

cease Synonyms

Synonyms
break off, break up, close, conclude, dead-end, determine, die, discontinue, elapse, end, expire, finish, go, halt, lapse, leave off, let up, pass, quit, stop, terminate, wind up, wink (out), bite the dust
Antonyms
continue, hang on, persist
Related Words
desist (from), lay off (of), refrain (from); give over [British], knock off, pack (up or in); break down, conk (out), cut out, stall; pause, stay, suspend; abate, peter (out), wind down
Near Antonyms
draw out, extend, prolong, protract

Synonym Discussion of cease

stop, cease, quit, discontinue, desist mean to suspend or cause to suspend activity. stop applies to action or progress or to what is operating or progressing and may imply suddenness or definiteness.
    • stopped at the red light
cease applies to states, conditions, or existence and may add a suggestion of gradualness and a degree of finality.
    • by nightfall the fighting had ceased
quit may stress either finality or abruptness in stopping or ceasing.
    • the engine faltered, sputtered, then quit altogether
discontinue applies to the stopping of an accustomed activity or practice.
    • we have discontinued the manufacture of that item
desist implies forbearance or restraint as a motive for stopping or ceasing.
    • desisted from further efforts to persuade them

2

cease

noun

Definition of cease

: cessation usually used with without
  • I kept an eye upon her without cease
  • —R. L. Stevenson

Examples of cease in a Sentence

  1. worked without cease for the betterment of humanity

Recent Examples of cease from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'cease.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Origin and Etymology of cease

see 1cease



CEASE Defined for English Language Learners

cease

verb

Definition of cease for English Language Learners

  • : to stop happening : to end

  • : to stop doing (something)


CEASE Defined for Kids

cease

verb \ ˈsēs \

Definition of cease for Students

ceased; ceasing
: to come or bring to an end : stop
  • The talking ceased.


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