sur·​cease | \ (ˌ)sər-ˈsēs How to pronounce surcease (audio) , ˈsər-ˌsēs \
surceased; surceasing

Definition of surcease

 (Entry 1 of 2)

intransitive verb

: to desist from action also : to come to an end : cease

transitive verb

: to put an end to : discontinue


sur·​cease | \ ˈsər-ˌsēs How to pronounce surcease (audio) , (ˌ)sər-ˈsēs \

Definition of surcease (Entry 2 of 2)

: cessation especially : a temporary respite or end to borrow from my books surcease of sorrow — E. A. Poe

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Examples of surcease in a Sentence

Noun hoping the new medicine would bring surcease to his pain
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Terrible transgressions lead to worse ones, with no prospect of surcease, let alone moral regeneration. WSJ, "‘Birds of Passage’ Review: Splendor and the Grass," 14 Feb. 2019 Anyone seeking temporary surcease from the rigors of the present moment will find it in abundance here. Terry Teachout, WSJ, "‘Twelfth Night’ Review: Silly Succor for Modern Malaise," 20 July 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'surcease.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of surcease


15th century, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense


1586, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for surcease


Middle English sursesen, surcesen, from Anglo-French surceser, alteration of surseer, surseoir, from Latin supersedēre — more at supersede

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Time Traveler for surcease

Time Traveler

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

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Cite this Entry

“Surcease.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 Jan. 2021.

More from Merriam-Webster on surcease

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for surcease

Britannica English: Translation of surcease for Arabic Speakers

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