\ 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

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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 bill’s author, Edgewood Republican Bob Hall, said its intent was to improve the mental health of Texans who may later come to regret their transition, citing statistics that many children may cease to experience gender dysphoria later in life. Megan Munce, San Antonio Express-News, 17 May 2021 That is why Governor Ivey announced on May 10 that Alabama will cease participation in the extended federal unemployment compensation programs. Tim Mccartney, al, 12 May 2021 Under other scenarios, declines are projected to be so severe that reef production will cease by 2100, the researchers said. Julia Jacobo, ABC News, 10 May 2021 The city of Los Angeles last week announced that its mass vaccination site at Dodger Stadium will cease operations at the end of May amid similarly slowing demand. Hayley Smith, Los Angeles Times, 6 May 2021 The recent news that Lockheed Martin would cease manufacturing at Middle River by the end of 2023 underscores what a long run this industry has enjoyed here. Jacques Kelly, baltimoresun.com, 20 Mar. 2021 The biggest of which is CBS All Access which confirmed that the app will cease to be compatible with the Apple TV 3rd generation starting on March 4th. Andrew Myrick, Forbes, 4 Mar. 2021 While job opportunities won’t cease to exist, investing in a company with the right leadership will press more organizations to invest in their people and gradually improve their management practices. Yec, Forbes, 11 May 2021 There’s been no dumping of scooters without permission from cities (and in violation of local laws), no cease-and-desist orders or lawsuits from municipalities — all examples of the many issues plaguing the electric scooter industry. Brittany Meiling, San Diego Union-Tribune, 30 Apr. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Progressives and some others demanded a cease-fire by Israel as well as Hamas as Palestinian deaths grew in the crowded Gaza Strip. Ellen Knickmeyer, chicagotribune.com, 4 June 2021 But after a cease-fire was reached on May 21, the negotiations resumed, and Lapid raced to sew up a deal. Time, 3 June 2021 Israelis hearing of these developments post the cease-fire? Sam Bahour, Washington Post, 3 June 2021 Israel and Hamas reached a cease-fire agreement on May 21, but new incidents continue to unfold. Cnaan Liphshiz, sun-sentinel.com, 3 June 2021 Israel announced a cease-fire, which took effect May 21. Brooke Singman, Fox News, 3 June 2021 Wednesday’s political drama came only a dozen days after a cease-fire ended a spasm of fighting between Israel and the militant group Hamas. Laura King, Los Angeles Times, 2 June 2021 Markey later issued a statement calling on Israel to seek an immediate cease-fire. BostonGlobe.com, 2 June 2021 Egypt is working to mediate longer term cease-fire arrangements between Israel and Hamas in Gaza. Felicia Schwartz, WSJ, 2 June 2021

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

5 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Cease.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/cease. Accessed 15 Jun. 2021.

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More Definitions for cease



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.

More from Merriam-Webster on cease

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for cease

Nglish: Translation of cease for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of cease for Arabic Speakers


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