\ 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 without I kept an eye upon her without cease— R. L. Stevenson

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
Recent Examples on the Web: Verb The International Court of Justice has ordered Russia to cease its invasion. Melissa Quinn, CBS News, 16 Mar. 2022 Detectives spoke with her grandmother, but never ordered the woman directly to cease, according to court records. Taylor Deville, baltimoresun.com, 23 Dec. 2021 Censors often ordered the paper to cease publication temporarily or pull articles. New York Times, 11 Nov. 2021 Additionally, Tencent Music Entertainment was ordered to cease its dominance of content supply deals with major music labels. Patrick Frater, Variety, 10 Nov. 2021 The pantry, which has been around for more than a year, was ordered June 24 to cease food distribution by the city Department of Neighborhood Services. Rachel Ryan, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 27 July 2021 Shortly after the visit to Puente Grande, Bond got word from prosecutors in the United States that any further meetings could harm future court cases against El Chapo, and ordered him to cease contact. Noah Hurowitz, Rolling Stone, 8 July 2021 An unregistered crematory in Ypsilanti was recently ordered to cease operations. Kyle Davidson, Detroit Free Press, 4 June 2021 The Texas State Securities Board ordered BitConnect in January 2018 to cease sales to residents of that state. Dave Michaels, WSJ, 29 May 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Russian forces have refused to honor a cease-fire in Mariupol that was agreed last week. Bojan Pancevski, WSJ, 8 May 2022 The tone was firm, with no mention of any potential diplomacy or cease-fire. New York Times, 8 May 2022 At that point, there will need to be cease-fire talks and, perhaps, negotiations toward a peace settlement. Doyle Mcmanuswashington Columnist, Los Angeles Times, 8 May 2022 The bombardment of the steel mill intensified in recent days despite a Russian pledge for a temporary cease-fire to allow civilians inside to escape. Elena Becatoros And Jon Gambrell, Chicago Tribune, 7 May 2022 Fifty civilians were evacuated from the plant Friday despite Russian cease-fire violations, Kyiv said. Washington Post, 7 May 2022 But since military leaders recommitted to the cease-fire in February 2021, peace has held. Haziq Qadri, The Christian Science Monitor, 5 May 2022 Over the weekend, more than 100 people -- including women, the elderly and 17 children -- were evacuated from the plant during a cease-fire in an operation overseen by the U.N. and the Red Cross. Democrat-gazette Staff From Wire Reports, Arkansas Online, 5 May 2022 The rest of the city has been overtaken by the Russian military, which blocked the plant and bombed it for weeks until a temporary cease-fire was reached with the U.N. to evacuate civilians like Maidenyuk. Matt Bradley, NBC News, 4 May 2022 See More

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.

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

Learn More About cease

Time Traveler for cease

Time Traveler

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

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Dictionary Entries Near cease

Ceará rubber


cease and desist

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Statistics for cease

Last Updated

12 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Cease.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/cease. Accessed 23 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for cease


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

Kids Definition of cease

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

More from Merriam-Webster on cease

Nglish: Translation of cease for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of cease for Arabic Speakers


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