\ 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)

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
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

Other Words from stop


stoppable \ ˈstä-​pə-​bəl How to pronounce stop (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. See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Verb The president, increasingly agitated, screamed over the phone demanding that the army chief send troops to stop the violence, Mr. Godahewa said. Philip Wen, WSJ, 9 Aug. 2022 The scheme to compile alternative electors emerged as a last-ditch plan by Trump's team to stop Biden's victory when Congress met for the typical routine job of certifying the state election results. Lisa Mascaro, ajc, 9 Aug. 2022 Tap or click for settings to change on your television to stop this privacy invasion. Kim Komando, USA TODAY, 8 Aug. 2022 That means Africa, Australia, Brazil, China, India, Indonesia, and Russia must stop deforestation. Ken Silverstein, Forbes, 8 Aug. 2022 The driver reportedly hit an innocent bystander's car, then came to stop. Pilar Arias | Fox News, Fox News, 8 Aug. 2022 For now, the railway leaves Mombasa, cuts across Kenya’s iconic national parks and barrels past Nairobi before its tracks stop at a quiet hamlet near the town of Duka Moja, surrounded by dense bush and maize plants. New York Times, 7 Aug. 2022 The Matcha, Chai, Golden, and Rose Cocoa flavors feature ingredients that help boost your mood and immunity, soothe stress and anxiety, enhance focus, and stop any crashes or jitters. Lydia Mansel, Peoplemag, 7 Aug. 2022 Streamlining permitting and blocking the efforts of outside anti-Alaska environmental groups and federal bureaucrats to stop the project. Anchorage Daily News, 5 Aug. 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Saint Aubin is one stop on a route that shows the history and products of the island. Ann Abel, Forbes, 9 Aug. 2022 Norfolk is the fifth stop for Henderson on his ascension through the Orioles’ farm system. Mark Inabinett |, al, 9 Aug. 2022 The regional is the final stop for the 10-and-under age group. Joe Arruda, Hartford Courant, 5 Aug. 2022 At the corner of 6th and Mateo, there is also a bus stop to contend with. Los Angeles Times, 4 Aug. 2022 Taiwan was the Pelosi delegation’s third stop on a tour of Asia that also includes Singapore, Malaysia, South Korea and Japan. Jennifer Jett, NBC News, 3 Aug. 2022 There also will be a stop at the Clay Apartments, NSO’s 42-unit permanent supportive housing facility at 3364 Mack Ave. Scott Talley,, 2 Aug. 2022 Salesmen believe that customers need the freedom to say no as many as six or seven times; rejection is a necessary stop on the road to submission. Tad Friend, The New Yorker, 1 Aug. 2022 Her latest excursion was a stop in Hubbardston this week. Shannon Larson,, 29 July 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Davis and Giganti sat behind a table opposite Wolfe and launched a non-stop barrage of sleight-of-hand facts, innuendos, and interruptions. Dan Kaufman, The New Yorker, 25 July 2022 Air Tahiti Nui links the South Pacific with four continents as the leading carrier to French Polynesia, with daily non-stop service to Tahiti from Los Angeles. Kimberly Wilson, Essence, 16 May 2022 Mallorca, long popular with the British, is one of the hottest growing destinations in Spain for American travelers, and United is starting t the first non-stop service from the U.S. in June, out of Newark. Larry Olmsted, Forbes, 1 May 2022 In times of uncertainty and non-stop disruption, the digital twin technology can be a way to achieve both by improving the supply chain visibility, performance and more. Alex Koshulko, Forbes, 21 June 2022 Dripping with potential, the energetic forward has what the NBA looks for in modern-day wing defenders -- size, switchability, strength, length, quickness, athleticism, non-stop motor. Chris Fedor, cleveland, 17 June 2022 The years of recording and non-stop touring started to catch up with them. Daniel Kohn, SPIN, 2 June 2022 The non-stop commercials for the primary Senate campaign were vicious, cynical and focused on tapping into the basest emotions of voters. cleveland, 14 May 2022 The non-stop [00:09:00] controversies that were coming out of there. Laura Johnston, cleveland, 6 Apr. 2022 See More

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.

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

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

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Last Updated

11 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Stop.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 19 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for stop


\ 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
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

More from Merriam-Webster on stop

Nglish: Translation of stop for Spanish Speakers

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


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