pause

noun
\ ˈpȯz How to pronounce pause (audio) \

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

While some of the reactions may be strategic posturing, there is also ample reason for any aspiring chief of staff to give pause to the notion of taking the job. Zeke Miller, The Seattle Times, "‘Many’ candidates vying for chief of staff job, Trump says," 11 Dec. 2018 The final season of Game of Thrones will begin in April, which is exciting, but something Sansa Stark herself (Sophie Turner) just said might give fans pause. D. Elizabeth, Glamour, "Sophie Turner Says Fans Might Be 'Disappointed' by Game of Thrones' Series Finale," 27 Sep. 2018 At a press conference last month Fed Chairman Jerome Powell explained the pause, citing the growing risks of a sharper U.S. economic slowdown because of cooling growth in Europe and Asia and substantial market volatility in late December. Nick Timiraos, WSJ, "How Long Will Fed’s Rate Pause Last? Minutes Could Yield Clues," 20 Feb. 2019 Breathing techniques, like 'square' breathing (four breaths in, pause for four, fourth breaths out, pause for four), can then help calm your mind. 8. Colleen Stinchcombe, Woman's Day, "How to Deal With Anger in a Healthy Way," 18 Jan. 2019 Best Actor Who should win: Insert long awkward pause here. Michelle Ruiz, Vogue, "Who Should Win at the Oscars vs. Who Will Win," 20 Feb. 2019 Press pause on your GameSphere and put down the can of Moca Cola, because your two faves reunited and sang together. Stacey Grant, Seventeen, "Drake & Josh Reunite to Sing Drake Bell's New Song and Learn Spanish," 4 Feb. 2019 Not helping things is the awkward conversation between Colton and Hannah B., full of long pauses and surface-level topics. Anna Moeslein, Glamour, "The Bachelor Season 23, Episode 2 Recap: Is Demi This Season's Villain?," 14 Jan. 2019 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

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Continue performing reps without pausing for 30 to 45 seconds. Jenny Mccoy, SELF, "A Total-Body HIIT Workout You Can Do in Under 15 Minutes From Celebrity Trainer Jeanette Jenkins," 14 Mar. 2019 Breathing techniques, like 'square' breathing (four breaths in, pause for four, fourth breaths out, pause for four), can then help calm your mind. 8. Colleen Stinchcombe, Woman's Day, "How to Deal With Anger in a Healthy Way," 18 Jan. 2019 The opposition’s parallel government filed papers Friday urging the U.S. Court of Appeals in Philadelphia to support the Trump administration’s push for regime change in Venezuela by pausing a $1.4 billion debt-collection lawsuit. ... Andrew Scurria, WSJ, "Venezuelan Opposition Seeks U.S. Court’s Help Protecting Citgo," 4 Mar. 2019 The smell of a decaying body in Rifkin's truck gave the police officers pause. Chris Cuomo, CNN, "Chris Cuomo: What I learned about evil from America's notorious criminals," 14 June 2018 But other members of the GOP were hesitant on the idea that pausing war games might lead to a diminishment of the U.S. military presence on the Korean peninsula. Nash Jenkins, Time, "Lawmakers Are Hesitant to Judge the North Korea Summit Just Yet," 12 June 2018 William and Shannan leave the theater hand-in-hand, pausing to kiss frequently along the way. refinery29.com, "Did Queer Eye Just Pull Off The Perfect Proposal?," 15 June 2018 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

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

28 Mar 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 How to pronounce pause (audio) \

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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