stop

1 of 3

verb

stopped; stopping

transitive verb

1
a
: 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 … roadHarvey Fergusson
2
a
: 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)
3
a
: 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
4
a
: to cause to cease : check, suppress
5
a
: 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)
6
a
: 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
7
a
: 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

1
a
: 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.
2
a
: to cease to move on : halt
3
a
: 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
stoppable adjective

stop

2 of 3

noun

1
a
b
: a pause or breaking off in speech
2
a(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
3
a
: 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
6
a
: a halt in a journey : stay
made a brief stop to refuel
b
: a stopping place
a bus stop
7
a
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
8
a
: 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

stop

3 of 3

adjective

: serving to stop : designed to stop
stop line
stop signal
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.
Recent Examples on the Web
Verb
Vega kept going, with police finally stopped him in Astoria Park about a mile from the crash scene. Thomas Tracy, New York Daily News, 4 July 2024 Polls consistently show that a high percentage of Americans think the economy is poor, but that is not stopping them from traveling this summer. Sasha Rogelberg, Fortune, 4 July 2024
Noun
Or turn the Allegan market into a stop on a long weekend in west Michigan. Georgea Kovanis, Detroit Free Press, 5 July 2024 Another scenic stop is South Holston Lake, which borders the Cherokee National Forest. Korrin Bishop, Southern Living, 4 July 2024
Adjective
After years of non-stop work, Maluma was tired. Rosy Cordero, EW.com, 7 Feb. 2021 The non-stop buzz, the magazine articles, the red-carpet interviews. Ellis Rosen, The New Yorker, 1 Apr. 2023 See all Example Sentences for stop 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'stop.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

Verb

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

First Known Use

Verb

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

Noun

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

Adjective

1594, in the meaning defined above

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

Dictionary Entries Near stop

Cite this Entry

“Stop.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/stop. Accessed 17 Jul. 2024.

Kids Definition

stop

1 of 3 verb
stopped; stopping
1
: to close an opening by filling or blocking it : plug
nose stopped up by a cold
2
: restrain sense 1a, prevent
stopped me from going
3
: to interrupt or prevent from continuing or occurring : check
couldn't stop the noise
4
: to instruct one's bank not to pay
stop payment on a check
5
: to halt the movement or progress of
stop the car
6
: to change the pitch of (as a violin string) by pressing with the finger
7
a
: to bring action or operation to an end
the motor stopped
b
: to come to an end
sit down when the music stops
8
: to make a visit
stopping with friends for a week

stop

2 of 3 noun
1
: cessation, end
his father put a stop to the arguing
2
a
: a series of similar organ pipes that vary by pitch but have the same tone quality
b
: stop knob
often used in phrases like pull out all the stops to suggest holding nothing back
3
: something that delays, blocks, or brings to a halt : impediment, obstacle
4
: a device for halting or limiting motion
the door was held open by a stop
5
: the act of stopping : the state of being stopped
the train was brought to a sudden stop
6
: a halt in a journey : stay
made a quick stop to refuel
7
: a stopping place
a bus stop
8
chiefly British : any of several punctuation marks
9
: a consonant in the uttering of which there is a step (as in the "p" of "apt" or the "g" of "tiger") when the breath passage is completely closed
10
: a function of an electronic device that stops a recording

stop

3 of 3 adjective
: serving to stop : designed to stop
stop line
stop signal

Legal Definition

stop

1 of 2 verb
stopped; stopping

transitive verb

1
: to cause to halt
stopped payment
2
: to subject to a legal stop

intransitive verb

: to cease activity or motion

stop

2 of 2 noun
: 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

More from Merriam-Webster on stop

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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