\ 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


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

Synonyms for pause

Synonyms: Noun

Synonyms: Verb

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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. See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun For a moment, both of us pause and the years collapse. New York Times, 12 May 2022 During the pandemic, she's taken advantage of the federal student loan pause to start investing in her 401(k) for the first time. Megan Leonhardt, Fortune, 7 May 2022 Rising rejections are pushing more high-school seniors to take a yearlong pause after graduation. Alex Janin, WSJ, 28 Apr. 2022 Student debt is one hurdle with legs — and the student loan pause will not extend past January 2022, President Biden says. Brooklyn White, Essence, 28 Apr. 2022 If Stevens wins, other lawmakers will take pause when going against AIPAC. Daniel Strauss, The New Republic, 19 Apr. 2022 His administration this month announced yet another extension of the payment pause on federal student loans — this time, through Aug. 31 — as concerns about inflation and rising gas prices roil the country. NBC News, 18 Apr. 2022 The Timberwolves took advantage of the extended pause. oregonlive, 12 Apr. 2022 Debate stirred this week about whether student loan debt should be forgiven following President Biden’s extension of the student loan payment pause to Aug. 31. Fox News, 9 Apr. 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Mayor Donald Trinks confirmed that town officials have been informed Chewy, the original tenant planned for the center, wanted to pause the massive project. Don Stacom, Hartford Courant, 29 Apr. 2022 But tax cuts would pause any year state revenue does not grow 3%, any year revenue is lower than in the five previous years, or any year the state does not have enough money in its savings account to cover the cost. Jeff Amy, ajc, 27 Apr. 2022 Carro decided to pause the park’s expansion and solve the community’s more immediate needs. Siobhan Reid, Vogue, 20 Apr. 2022 Because the percentage was well above 10% downtown (Zone 1), the DPW decided to pause rides downtown on Aug. 3. Drake Bentley, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 7 Apr. 2022 H&M Group has decided to temporarily pause all sales in Russia. Byrebecca Gelpi, ABC News, 25 Mar. 2022 Several entertainment companies, such as Amazon, Netflix, Disney and WarnerMedia, have decided to pause or entirely withdrawal business in Russia, including theatrical releases and TV channels. Rebecca Rubin, Variety, 17 Mar. 2022 Work on the deployment of the sunshield mid-booms stretched late into the evening and Webb mission management decided to pause deployment activities for Saturday. Julia Musto, Fox News, 2 Jan. 2022 By the time the league decided to pause the season after a loss in Long Island, the Bruins were losing players on a daily basis, which in turn prevented them from building off what should have been two big wins in Alberta. Steve Conroy,, 27 Dec. 2021 See More

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.

First Known Use of pause


15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


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

History and Etymology for pause


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

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Time Traveler for pause

Time Traveler

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

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Dictionary Entries Near pause




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Statistics for pause

Last Updated

15 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Pause.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for pause


\ 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


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

More from Merriam-Webster on pause

Nglish: Translation of pause for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of pause for Arabic Speakers


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