\ ˈstäp \
stopped; stopping

Definition of stop 

(Entry 1 of 3)

transitive verb

1a : to close by filling or obstructing

b : to hinder or prevent the passage of

c : to get in the way of : be wounded or killed by easy to stop a bullet along a lonely … road —Harvey Fergusson

2a : to close up or block off (an opening) : plug

b : to make impassable : choke, obstruct

c : to cover over or fill in (a hole or crevice)

3a : to cause to give up or change a course of action

b : to keep from carrying out a proposed action : restrain, prevent stopped them from leaving

4a : to cause to cease : check, suppress

b : discontinue

5a : to deduct or withhold (a sum due)

b : to instruct one's bank to refuse (payment) or refuse payment of (something, such as a check)

6a : to arrest the progress or motion of : cause to halt stopped the car

b : parry

c : to check by means of a weapon : bring down, kill

d : to beat in a boxing match by a knockout broadly : defeat

e : baffle, nonplus

7a : to change the pitch of (something, such as a violin string) by pressing with the finger

b : to change the pitch of (a wind instrument) by closing one or more finger holes or by thrusting the hand or a mute into the bell

8 : to hold an honor card and enough protecting cards to be able to block (a bridge suit) before an opponent can run many tricks

intransitive verb

1a : to cease activity or operation his heart stopped the motor stopped

b : to come to an end especially suddenly : close, finish The talking stopped when she entered the room.

2a : to cease to move on : halt

b : pause, hesitate

3a : to break one's journey : stay

b chiefly British : remain

c : to make a brief call : drop in

4 : to become choked : clog the sink often stops up



Definition of stop (Entry 2 of 3)

1a : cessation, end

b : a pause or breaking off in speech

2a(1) : a graduated set of organ pipes of similar design and tone quality

(2) : a corresponding set of vibrators or reeds of a reed organ

(3) : stop knob often used figuratively in phrases like pull out all the stops to suggest holding nothing back

b : a means of regulating the pitch of a musical instrument

3a : something that impedes, obstructs, or brings to a halt : impediment, obstacle

b : the aperture of a camera lens also : a marking of a series (as of f-numbers) on a camera for indicating settings of the diaphragm

c : a drain plug : stopper

4 : a device for arresting or limiting motion

5 : the act of stopping : the state of being stopped : check

6a : a halt in a journey : stay made a brief stop to refuel

b : a stopping place a bus stop

7a chiefly British : any of several punctuation marks

b used in telegrams and cables to indicate a period

c : a pause or break in a verse that marks the end of a grammatical unit

8a : an order stopping payment (as of a check or note) by a bank

b : stop order

9 : a consonant characterized by complete closure of the breath passage in the course of articulation — compare continuant

10 : a depression in the face of an animal at the junction of forehead and muzzle

11 : a function of an electronic device that stops a recording



Definition of stop (Entry 3 of 3)

: serving to stop : designed to stop stop line stop signal

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Other words from stop


stoppable \ˈstä-pə-bəl \ adjective

Choose the Right Synonym for stop


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 stop in a Sentence


She was walking toward me, and then she suddenly stopped. The bus stopped at the corner. He stopped to watch the sun set. He stopped to pick up a penny. The car was going so fast that it couldn't stop in time. The traffic light turned red, so she had to stop. Stop that man! He stole my wallet. They stopped us at the border to check our passports. She stopped the car and turned back. He was stopped by the police for speeding.


His first stop will be Washington, D.C. Our first stop has to be the gas station. I need to make a stop at the grocery store on the way home. The next stop is Main Street and Tower Square. I'm getting off at the next stop. Slow down as you approach the stop.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Regan had stopped at a gas station in a snowstorm and learned that a woman with young children was stranded with a flat tire and no spare. Anne M. Hamilton,, "He Brought His Skill For Teaching, Knack For Colonial Buildings To Coventry," 15 July 2018 Border Patrol agents stopped a pickup along Interstate 15 near Fallbrook on Thursday and found about 45 pounds of methamphetamine, worth more than $800,000, federal officials said. Pauline Repard,, "Border Patrol seizes 45 pounds of meth in pickup along I-15 in Fallbrook," 14 July 2018 Racial profiling, disproportionate arrest and incarceration rates, and biased apprehension tactics such as stop-and-frisk work to make black immigrants especially vulnerable to draconian immigration enforcement tactics. Shamira Ibrahim, Daily Intelligencer, "Patricia Okoumou and the Threat to Black Immigrants," 13 July 2018 Merge-o-mania is under way, and nothing's going to stop it. David Pogue, Scientific American, "Megamergers I’d Like to See," 13 July 2018 The 5-year-old was outside of his house playing with siblings, when the man stopped outside in his dark-colored Chevrolet pickup and called for the child to get in the truck, Deputy Ingrid Tejada-Monforte said. Ryan Gillespie,, "Man tried to lure 5-year-old boy into his truck near Lockhart, deputies say," 12 July 2018 Gainesville officers stopped a blue Acura Integra on Davis Street around 8:30 p.m. and were conducting a search when one of the passengers jumped into the driver’s seat. Chelsea Prince, ajc, "2 officers dragged behind car fleeing from traffic stop," 12 July 2018 Kavanaugh served on Bush’s legal team during the Bush v. Gore court battle in late 2000, when the Supreme Court stopped a Florida ballot recount and sealed the Republican’s victory. Author: Greg Stohr And Andrew Harris, Anchorage Daily News, "Trump’s Supreme Court nominee is a Washington insider and regulation skeptic," 10 July 2018 Pippa has been living in breezy dresses, from designers like J.Crew, and can't stop wearing her wedge espadrilles. Marina Liao, Marie Claire, "Pippa Middleton Wears Blue for Prince Louis' Christening," 9 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

However, within his stop start term, the Sporting CP academy graduate has aided his side's Scudetto charge by providing three assists, the last of which came in September., "West Ham Set to Reopen Talks With Inter for Joao Mario Following Loan Deal Breakdown," 19 Jan. 2018

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


13th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1a


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


1594, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for stop


Middle English stoppen, from Old English -stoppian, from Vulgar Latin *stuppare to stop with tow, from Latin stuppa tow, from Greek styppē

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Statistics for stop

Last Updated

16 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for stop

The first known use of stop was in the 13th century

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More Definitions for stop



English Language Learners Definition of stop

: to not move, walk, etc., after doing so before

: to cause (someone or something) to not move, walk, etc., after doing so before

: to not do something that you have been doing before : to not continue doing something


\ ˈstäp \
stopped; stopping

Kids Definition of stop

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : to cease moving especially temporarily or for a purpose I stopped to catch my breath. The bus stops here.

2 : to halt the movement or progress of Stop the car!

3 : to keep from doing something I couldn't stop him from leaving.

4 : to come or bring (something) to an end The rain stopped. Stop that yelling.

5 : to cease operating or functioning The engine just stopped.

6 : to close or block up or become closed or blocked up : plug I stopped my ears with cotton. The drain was stopped up.

7 : to take time Stop to think first.



Kids Definition of stop (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : end entry 1 sense 2, finish Let's put a stop to the arguing.

2 : the act of bringing or coming to a halt : the state of being stopped The train came to a stop.

3 : a halt in a journey : stay We made a brief stop in the mountains.

4 : a stopping place a bus stop

5 : something that delays, blocks, or brings to a halt a door stop

6 : stopper, plug

7 : a set of organ pipes of one tone quality : a control knob for such a set


stopped; stopping

Legal Definition of stop 

(Entry 1 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to cause to halt stopped payment

2 : to subject to a legal stop

intransitive verb

: to cease activity or motion



Legal Definition of stop (Entry 2 of 2)

: an act or instance of stopping specifically : a temporary detention that constitutes a limited seizure of a person for the purpose of inquiry or investigation and that must be based on reasonable suspicion — see also terry stop — compare arrest

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Comments on stop

What made you want to look up stop? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


the setting in which something occurs

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