\ ˈstäp How to pronounce stop (audio) \
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
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
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
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)

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
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 How to pronounce stoppable (audio) \ 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

Verb 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. Noun 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 The fair organizers plan to provide additional hand-washing stations, sanitize common surfaces, stop serving beer at 10 p.m. and limit grandstand seating to 50% of capacity. Jeff Rumage, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Ozaukee County fair still a go, despite restrictions because of COVID-19," 3 July 2020 There’s no external force to stop Beijing and never really has been. ... Joseph C. Sternberg, WSJ, "Beijing Will Miss Hong Kong Now That It’s Gone," 2 July 2020 People drink and stop social distancing, and often sit close together. Zaz Hollander, Anchorage Daily News, "Seward requires face coverings and limits camping amid COVID-19 outbreak," 2 July 2020 The truck did not stop and during a chase joined by other officers, Bell was captured by police vehicle cameras hurling several objects from the window, according to the statement. Hira Humayun, CNN, "Eight Louisiana police officers accused of excessive force after chase have been indicted," 1 July 2020 The second time, asking the right question led the patient to decide to stop chemotherapy and enter hospice care. Rebecca Robbins, STAT, "An experiment in end-of-life care: Tapping AI’s cold calculus to nudge the most human of conversations," 1 July 2020 Police have said that McClain refused to stop walking and resisted contact. NBC News, "Federal authorities reviewing police use of chokehold, death of Elijah McClain," 30 June 2020 How To Rewire Your Brain ($12.99; claims to help students develop mental flexibility, change habits, stop procrastination and even alter memories, all based on our current understanding of how the brain works. CNN Underscored, "Level up your learning with online classes from Udemy," 28 June 2020 Then there's the stop-and-start nature of the prospects' work this season, which raises this question: Would the Tigers be better off mitigating the injury risk by not pushing them any further in this season that wouldn't provide much work anyway? Anthony Fenech, Detroit Free Press, "Detroit Tigers' debate over prospect strategy more of a balancing act than you think," 28 June 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun When the meal cart rolls to a stop outside her vault-like cell door, Ricki Dahlin knows it’s noon. Anchorage Daily News, "Her addiction landed her in a prison segregation wing. The man she says abused her lives free.," 20 June 2020 Johnson's vehicle, which was behind the officer, also came to a sudden stop. Mike Brest, Washington Examiner, "UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson involved in car crash after protester runs into road," 17 June 2020 About 50 vehicles rolled to a stop shortly after 4:30 p.m. on the upper deck of the Bay Bridge in between Treasure Island and San Francisco, according to California Highway Patrol officer Mark Andrews. Matthias Gafni,, "Protesters block Bay Bridge after peaceful day filled with marches," 14 June 2020 In the final shot of the 1989 civil war movie Glory, the corpse of Private Trip (Denzel Washington) rolls down a sand dune and comes to a stop under the armpit of his equally dead commander, Colonel Shaw (Matthew Broderick). Josephine Livingstone, The New Republic, "Spike Lee’s Da 5 Bloods Takes On the Black Trauma of Vietnam," 12 June 2020 The preliminary investigation found that the male driver of a commercial motor vehicle had exited I-264 at Taylorsville Road before the vehicle came to a stop in the front yard of the Henrietta Avenue residence, Smiley said. Billy Kobin, The Courier-Journal, "LMPD: Driver dies after vehicle runs off Taylorsville Road into front yard of home," 12 June 2020 During warm-up laps, the 40 cars pulled to a stop in front of the empty grandstands and shut off their engines. NBC News, "Bubba Wallace wants NASCAR to ban the Confederate flag," 9 June 2020 If extreme travel was becoming a circumnavigational sprint, the pandemic brought any such antics to a sudden stop—and might create lasting hurdles for competitors. Bruce Wallin, National Geographic, "They were on a quest to visit every country. Then coronavirus happened.," 8 June 2020 The procession traveled from Illinois Street, to Westfield Boulevard to Meridian Street before coming to a stop near 82nd and Meridian. Justin L. Mack, The Indianapolis Star, "Indianapolis protests: Early morning vehicle procession aims to 'wake up' north side," 7 June 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Following weeks of protests around the country, and non-stop protests in all boroughs of New York, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced on Monday that the New York Police Department (NYPD) will be disbanding its anti-crime unit of plainclothes officers. Elly Belle,, "NYPD Eliminated Their Plainclothes Officer Unit — But This Disguises A Larger Problem," 16 June 2020 Board the non-stop, red-eye on Norwegian from JFK and wake up the next morning in Arlanda International Airport. Essence, "Get Lost: 72 Hours in Stockholm," 11 June 2020 Masks will be required, so the non-stop eating/drinking experience of attending a baseball game could be curtailed. Tim Cowlishaw, Dallas News, "Could significant marches across U.S. provide COVID-19 clues that would impact MLB’s return?," 8 June 2020 Thousands hitched bus ride to this year’s O.C. Fair Ridership on this year’s OC Fair Express — a non-stop bus service for fair-goers — increased by more than 4% over 2018, according to the Orange County Transportation Authority. Daily Pilot, "Around Town: Jackson Browne, ‘Star Wars’ headline upcoming Pacific Amphitheatre concerts," 15 Aug. 2019 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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Time Traveler for stop

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for stop

Last Updated

5 Jul 2020

Cite this Entry

“Stop.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 5 Jul. 2020.

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More Definitions for stop


How to pronounce stop (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of stop

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: 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



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

: a state in which someone or something is no longer moving
: a state in which no further activity happens
sports : a play that stops an opponent from scoring a goal


\ ˈstäp How to pronounce stop (audio) \
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
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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More from Merriam-Webster on stop

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for stop

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with stop

Spanish Central: Translation of stop

Nglish: Translation of stop for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of stop for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about stop

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