\ 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 Karbhari then ceased communicating with her after her last complaint about a discriminatory action in February, according to the lawsuit. Dallas News, "Former UTA administrator files lawsuit alleging university president bullied her," 4 Feb. 2020 The temperature at which all molecular movement ceases? Paul Cappiello, The Courier-Journal, "Ever wonder how plants handle winter weather like wind chill? The answer? It's about water," 31 Jan. 2020 The justice system ceases to serve its crucial function and loses credibility when criminal accusations are used to advance personal or political agendas. Dan Goodin, Ars Technica, "Exonerated: Charges dropped against pentesters paid to break into Iowa courthouse," 30 Jan. 2020 The satellite launched in January 1983 to study the cosmos in infrared light and ceased observations 10 months later. Mike Wall, Scientific American, "Looming Potential Satellite Smashup Could Spawn Dangerous Debris Swarm," 29 Jan. 2020 Debate ceases to be about two sides of an issue, becoming entirely separate streams of information, or misinformation, to the faithful. Garry Kasparov, The New York Review of Books, "A Popular Front to Stop Trump," 28 Jan. 2020 The human senses never cease detecting things the brain finds a way to dread. Virginia Heffernan, Wired, "The Unbearable Softness of Engineered Fabrics," 21 Jan. 2020 As a result, Cannabis New Brunswick, the only legal retailer of recreational marijuana in the province, ceased shipments to Campobello in September after the searches began at Calais. Brian Macquarrie, BostonGlobe.com, "On quiet Campobello Island,," 19 Jan. 2020 End of era: What the Celadon bankruptcy means for the trucking industry — and your holiday gifts The company immediately ceased business operations that day, putting roughly 4,000 employees out of work. Alexandria Burris, Indianapolis Star, "Celadon moves to sell 20-acre parcel in Indianapolis after bankruptcy filing," 17 Jan. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The rapid advances sparked rare clashes with Turkey, which has troops in the region to monitor a 2018 cease-fire deal. Washington Post, "Syrians scramble for refuge in last opposition frontier," 11 Feb. 2020 So much for that cease-fire between Major League Baseball and Minor League Baseball. Michael Silverman, BostonGlobe.com, "Major League Baseball and minor leagues are sparring publicly again," 29 Jan. 2020 The United States and the Taliban are negotiating a cease-fire to allow the signing of a peace agreement that could bring home about 13,000 American troops. Lolita C. Baldor And Robert Burns, USA TODAY, "Two US troops killed in Afghanistan plane crash; cause of crash under investigation," 28 Jan. 2020 In reality, sporadic fighting around the outskirts of Tripoli had continued throughout the cease-fire. David D. Kirkpatrick, New York Times, "Cease-Fire in Libya Collapses Despite International Efforts," 27 Jan. 2020 The international backers of the two main sides of the conflict agreed Sunday in Berlin to support a cease-fire and uphold an embargo on the arms and financing that have fueled the conflict. Anna Hirtenstein, WSJ, "Oil Rises on Libyan, Iraqi Supply Disruption," 20 Jan. 2020 The spectacle of the United States systematically battering what is actually a weak country would spur international outrage that would force an early cease-fire. Steven Simon, The New York Review of Books, "The Middle East: Trump Blunders In," 16 Jan. 2020 But a seeming cease fire - at least temporarily - has let crude values fall back down below $60. Jordan Blum, Houston Chronicle, "U.S. oil production hits estimated record 13 million barrels per day," 15 Jan. 2020 Any attempt to impose a lasting cease-fire will be hard to enforce because of the splintered nature of Libya's military coalitions, with disparate factions and foreign fighters deployed on both sides. NBC News, "Libya's warring factions accuse each other of violating cease-fire," 12 Jan. 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

13 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Cease.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/cease. Accessed 25 Feb. 2020.

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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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More from Merriam-Webster on cease

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for cease

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with cease

Spanish Central: Translation of cease

Nglish: Translation of cease for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of cease for Arabic Speakers

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