pause

noun
\ ˈpȯz \

Definition of pause

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a temporary stop
2a : a break in a verse
b : a brief suspension of the voice to indicate the limits and relations of sentences and their parts
3 : temporary inaction especially as caused by uncertainty : hesitation
4a : the sign denoting a fermata
b : a mark (such as a period or comma) used in writing or printing to indicate or correspond to a pause of voice
5 : a reason or cause for pausing (as to reconsider) a thought that should give one pause
6 : a function of an electronic device that pauses a recording

pause

verb
paused; pausing

Definition of pause (Entry 2 of 2)

intransitive verb

1 : to stop temporarily
2 : to linger for a time

transitive verb

: to cause to pause : stop

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Synonyms for pause

Synonyms: Noun

break, breath, breather, interruption, lull, recess

Synonyms: Verb

break

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Examples of pause in a Sentence

Noun

There was a brief pause in the conversation. After a pause the teacher continued the lesson. He hit pause on the player and explained the significance of the song's lyrics. Please hit the pause button on the remote control.

Verb

She paused for a few seconds before crossing the street. We paused briefly to look at the scenery. He talked for over an hour without pausing. He picked up the remote control and paused the movie.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The momentary pause on Heathrow's runways comes just a few weeks after a mysterious drone sighting stymied all air traffic at Gatwick Airport during the height of holiday travel for roughly 36 hours. Sam Blum, Popular Mechanics, "Another Drone Sighting Shuts Down the UK's Busiest Airport," 8 Jan. 2019 Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan—these are places that give a lot of travelers pause. Paul Brady, Condé Nast Traveler, "Andrew Zimmern's Back-Alley Tour of Dubai Dining," 18 Oct. 2018 After pulling on the door didn’t open it, Lindsey said her husband started pushing buttons on the machine, eventually pressing pause followed by power. Allyson Chiu, The Seattle Times, "Her 3-year-old was locked in a washing machine filling with water. Now she’s warning parents.," 17 July 2018 In other business, the council voted unanimously to press pause on the donation program for park trees, benches and other fixtures. Hillary Davis, latimes.com, "Newport Beach City Council considers increasing fees for fire inspections," 11 July 2018 North Korea will be pressing pause on its nuclear and missile tests this weekend in advance of summits with South Korea’s President Moon Jae-in next week and with Donald Trump sometime this spring, Reuters reports. Rachel Becker, The Verge, "North Korea’s freeze on nuclear testing isn’t a victory — it’s negotiation," 20 Apr. 2018 In front of him, a sound engineer pressed pause, punched a series of commands into a keyboard, and played the scene again. Gabe Cohn, New York Times, "He Won $1 Million to Make a Movie. Then the Problems Set in.," 19 Apr. 2018 Because of Harden, the pause button has been pushed on the Warriors' coronation. cleveland.com, "Why LeBron James isn't the 2017-18 MVP: Chris Fedor," 10 Apr. 2018 Stylized was the word that came to mind when scrolling through this week's best beauty Instagrams, with mane and makeup moments that were purposeful and individual, forcing a pause in perusal. Calin Van Paris, Vogue, "The 10 Best Beauty Instagrams: Emily Ratajkowski Wins the Cat-Eye Competition (and More!)," 30 Sep. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Signs that growth is likely to decline by more than officials project raise the chance that the Fed pauses in March from its recent quarterly pace of increases. Nick Timiraos, WSJ, "Investors Are Betting That the Fed Hits Pause on Rate Hikes," 2 Jan. 2019 In the book, a happily married couple was having a fight, and in the middle of the argument, the wife playfully put her hands on her hips and stuck her out tongue to mimic their child, causing them both to pause and laugh. Anne Roderique-jones, SELF, "I Tested ‘Love Languages’ and 3 Other Relationship Books on My Marriage," 7 Oct. 2018 Scales fly up and down, one impeccable glissando at a time, pausing briefly before climbing to the next half-step. Paul Klenk, New York Times, "‘Godfather Waltz’," 2 July 2018 This is an opportune time to pause and reflect, in the wake of the fatal Maryland newsroom shooting and a few days before celebrating this great nation’s freedom on July 4. Jason Williams, Cincinnati.com, "PX column: I'm not your enemy. Let's hope Trump tones down attacks on media after shooting," 29 June 2018 The 19-item checklist — which asks surgical staff to pause before anesthesia begins, before an incision is made, and before the patient leaves the operating room — aims to curb errors and adverse events and boost communication in the operating room. Andrew Joseph, STAT, "Five ideas that might steer Gawande as CEO of Amazon-backed health company," 20 June 2018 Trump pauses on military action amid talks with Europe allies Direct clash could ‘escalate to nuclear level’: Russian expert Russia has spent years testing state-of-the-art products of its defense industry in Syria. Henry Meyer, Bloomberg.com, "Russia, U.S. Near Brink in a Syrian Standoff With Nuclear Risks," 13 Apr. 2018 The motorcade will pause at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial where Mrs. Cindy McCain will lay a ceremonial wreath honoring all whose lives were lost during the Vietnam War. Caroline Hallemann, Town & Country, "President Trump Reportedly Will Not Attend John McCain's Funeral," 29 Aug. 2018 While walking the red (er, blue) carpet, Cher (who plays Sophie's very-cool grandma) and Meryl Streep (Donna) paused at one point to take a few fun snaps together. Kayla Keegan, Good Housekeeping, "Cher and Meryl Streep Kissed at the 'Mamma Mia 2' Premiere and Twitter Is Having a Field Day," 19 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'pause.' 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 pause

Noun

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb

15th century, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1

History and Etymology for pause

Noun

Middle English, from Latin pausa, from Greek pausis, from pauein to stop

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Statistics for pause

Last Updated

14 Feb 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for pause

The first known use of pause was in the 15th century

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More Definitions for pause

pause

noun

English Language Learners Definition of pause

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a temporary stop : a period of time in which something is stopped before it is started again
: a control that you use when you want to stop a recorded song, movie, etc., for a short time
music : the sign that is placed over or under a musical note, rest, etc., to show that it should be held longer than usual

pause

verb

English Language Learners Definition of pause (Entry 2 of 2)

: to stop doing something for a short time before doing it again
: to cause (a recorded song, movie, etc.) to stop for a short time by pushing a button on a device

pause

noun
\ ˈpȯz \

Kids Definition of pause

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a temporary stop
2 : a sign 𝄐 above a musical note or rest to show that the note or rest is to be held longer

pause

verb
paused; pausing

Kids Definition of pause (Entry 2 of 2)

: to stop for a time : make a temporary stop He paused, perhaps waiting for me to explain.— Gail Carson Levine, Ella Enchanted

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More from Merriam-Webster on pause

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with pause

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for pause

Spanish Central: Translation of pause

Nglish: Translation of pause for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of pause for Arabic Speakers

Comments on pause

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