\ ˈsēs How to pronounce cease (audio) \
ceased; ceasing

Definition of cease

 (Entry 1 of 2)

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

1a : 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



Definition of cease (Entry 2 of 2)

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

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Choose the Right Synonym for 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

Examples of cease in a Sentence

Verb The fighting along the border has temporarily ceased. The factory ceased operations last year. The child would not cease his constant whining. Noun worked without cease for the betterment of humanity
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb The store is expected to cease operations on Jan. 30, resulting in 84 layoffs unless employees choose to transfer to another store, Marshalls said in a letter to California’s Employment Development Department. Roland Li, SFChronicle.com, "Marshalls to close S.F. store, adding to Market Street’s retail woes," 13 Jan. 2021 The state issued the hefty fines after the gym continued operating, even after Oregon OSHA posted Red Warning Notices that require businesses to cease all actions that violate public safety rule. Jamie Goldberg, oregonlive, "Salem gym fined record $126,749 for violating state coronavirus restrictions," 12 Jan. 2021 His comment echoed those of Chief Executive Officer Jamie Dimon, who joined other heads of Wall Street’s biggest firms calling for violence to cease at the Capitol in the past week. Sridhar Natarajan, Bloomberg.com, "Goldman, JPMorgan, Citi, Morgan Stanley Pause Political Contributions," 10 Jan. 2021 Dozens joined a letter calling on Ms. Loeffler to cease her attacks. New York Times, "Raphael Warnock, From the Pulpit to Politics, Doesn’t Shy From ‘Uncomfortable’ Truths," 2 Jan. 2021 He was previously advised to cease all contact with the woman. cleveland, "Boyfriend kicks woman’s front door: Rocky River Police Blotter," 29 Dec. 2020 Food and alcohol service are required to cease at 10 p.m. Vivian Jones, Washington Examiner, "Tennessee’s largest county implements safer-at-home order," 22 Dec. 2020 That bill would require the two Anne Arundel plants — Brandon Shores and H.A. Wagner — to cease operations by Oct. 1, 2025. Christine Condon, baltimoresun.com, "50-year-old Maryland power plant to stop burning coal in 2027," 21 Dec. 2020 In Las Vegas and throughout Southern California, the coronavirus hasn’t caused (safe) expansion to cease. Ron Donoho Writer, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Circa Resort & Casino opens in downtown Las Vegas," 13 Dec. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The head of the government negotiation team, Masoom Stanikzai, said Wednesday that a cease-fire would be the delegation’s top priority. New York Times, "What to Know as Troubled Afghan Peace Talks Enter a New Phase," 1 Jan. 2021 Russia eventually brokered a cease-fire that allowed Azerbaijan to take control of significant territory and deployed Russian peacekeepers to the region. Washington Post, "2020 was a remarkably difficult year — not only because of the pandemic," 30 Dec. 2020 The cease-fire deal also included the departure of foreign forces and mercenaries from Libya within three months. Samy Magdy, ajc, "UN: Libya’s rivals swap prisoners, part of cease-fire deal," 26 Dec. 2020 Afghan President Ashraf Ghani said in a statement that the Taliban should stop violence against civilians and accept a cease-fire, to facilitate the current peace process. NBC News, "At least 9 dead as car bomb rocks Afghanistan's capital, Kabul," 20 Dec. 2020 In a statement condemning the attack, Afghan President Ashraf Ghani said that the Taliban should stop violence against civilians and accept a cease-fire to facilitate the peace process. Washington Post, "World Digest: Dec. 20, 2020," 20 Dec. 2020 Journalist Ravi Somaiya suggests in his new book that the United Nations secretary-general in the 1960s, Dag Hammarskjöld, paid a terrible price for his efforts to broker a cease-fire in the bloody civil war in Congo. Randy Dotinga, The Christian Science Monitor, "Q&A with Ravi Somaiya, author of ‘The Golden Thread’," 14 Dec. 2020 Sanctions would also likely derail struggling efforts to negotiate a cease-fire in Yemen. Star Tribune, "In Yemen, don't make a tragedy worse," 9 Dec. 2020 The two-term United Nations secretary-general who brokered a historic cease-fire between Iran and Iraq in 1988 and who in later life came out of retirement to help reestablish democracy in his Peruvian homeland. Anchorage Daily News, "Final goodbye: Recalling influential people who died in 2020," 8 Dec. 2020

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.

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First Known Use of cease


14th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense


14th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for cease

Verb and Noun

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

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Time Traveler for cease

Time Traveler

The first known use of cease was in the 14th century

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Statistics for cease

Last Updated

24 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Cease.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/cease. Accessed 24 Jan. 2021.

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More Definitions for cease


How to pronounce cease (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of cease

: to stop happening : to end
: to stop doing (something)


\ ˈsēs How to pronounce cease (audio) \
ceased; ceasing

Kids Definition of cease

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

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Comments on cease

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