sus·pend | \ sə-ˈspend \
suspended; suspending; suspends

Definition of suspend 

transitive verb

1 : to debar temporarily especially from a privilege, office, or function suspend a student from school

2a : to cause to stop temporarily suspend bus service

b : to set aside or make temporarily inoperative suspend the rules

3 : to defer to a later time on specified conditions suspend sentence

4 : to hold in an undetermined or undecided state awaiting further information suspend judgment suspend disbelief

5a : hang especially : to hang so as to be free on all sides except at the point of support suspend a ball by a thread

b : to keep from falling or sinking by some invisible support (such as buoyancy) dust suspended in the air

c : to put or hold in suspension suspended sediment

6a : to keep fixed or lost (as in wonder or contemplation)

b : to keep waiting in suspense or indecision

7 : to hold (a musical note) over into the following chord

intransitive verb

1 : to cease operation temporarily

2 : to stop payment or fail to meet obligations

3 : hang

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Synonyms for suspend


adjourn, prorogue, recess

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Choose the Right Synonym for suspend

defer, postpone, suspend, stay mean to delay an action or proceeding. defer implies a deliberate putting off to a later time. deferred buying a car until spring postpone implies an intentional deferring usually to a definite time. the game is postponed until Saturday suspend implies temporary stoppage with an added suggestion of waiting until some condition is satisfied. business will be suspended while repairs are underway stay often suggests the stopping or checking by an intervening agency or authority. the governor stayed the execution

Did You Know?

When something is suspended, it is "left hanging;" it is neither in full operation nor permanently ended. Suspense is a state of uncertainty and maybe anxiety. When we watch a play or movie, we enjoy experiencing a "suspension of disbelief;" that is, we allow ourselves to believe we're watching reality, even though we aren't truly fooled.Suspension can also mean physical hanging; thus, in a suspension bridge, the roadway actually hangs from huge cables. When some substance is "in suspension", its particles are "hanging" in another substance, mixed into it but not actually dissolved, like fine sand in water, or sea spray in the air at the seashore.

Examples of suspend in a Sentence

He was suspended from the team for missing too many practices. The police officers were suspended without pay for their conduct. The principal suspended the student from school for fighting. The city suspended bus service during the storm. The company was forced to suspend operations. They have suspended the peace talks. I advise suspending judgment until the investigation is over. Her license to practice law was suspended. We can suspend the rules just this once. He's driving with a suspended license.
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Recent Examples on the Web

Last year, the Department of Defense suspended the program and announced new changes for current foreign recruits which included increased background checks. Jericka Duncan, CBS News, "Immigrant abruptly discharged from military says it was like getting "kicked out of your own home"," 6 July 2018 The judge suspended the sentence pending Carter’s appeal. Chris Harris,, "Mass. Woman Who Urged Boyfriend's Suicide in Texts Argues Prosecutors 'Cherry-Picked' Messages," 2 July 2018 Lafontant suspended the fuel prices increases after protests erupted last week but the disturbances continued and calls for the prime minister to resign grew, including from the opposition and some business groups. Ezequiel Abiu Lopez And Evens Sanon,, "Haiti's prime minister resigns after plan to raise fuel prices sparked deadly protests," 14 July 2018 The ministry suspended the ongoing move of rhinos and said the surviving ones in the new park were being closely monitored. Washington Post, "8 endangered black rhinos die in Kenya after relocation," 13 July 2018 Baltimore Police have suspended a detective who has been the subject of costly lawsuits after a Harford County judge issued an order barring him from carrying a gun when his children's mother leveled allegations of domestic violence and child abuse. Ian Duncan,, "Baltimore Police detective suspended after judge orders him to give up gun in domestic violence case," 13 July 2018 In a nod to the artistic technique of pouring paint on canvas, Cruz suspends chrysalises above watercolor paper. George Fishman, miamiherald, "Monarchs ‘Brown and Native’ butterfly exhibit a response to contemporary events," 13 July 2018 In 2015, the Court of Arbitration for Sport suspended a previous I.A.A.F. rule, saying the governing body had not sufficiently quantified the performance advantage gained in women’s events by elevated testosterone levels. Jeré Longman, New York Times, "Did Flawed Data Lead Track Astray on Testosterone in Women?," 12 July 2018 The company suspended operations after the city impounded more than 400 scooters. Ethan May, Indianapolis Star, "Bird scooters are being removed from Indianapolis. Here's what could happen next.," 12 July 2018

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

14th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

History and Etymology for suspend

Middle English, from Anglo-French suspendre, from Latin suspendere, from sub-, sus- up + pendere to cause to hang, weigh

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Statistics for suspend

Last Updated

18 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for suspend

The first known use of suspend was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for suspend



English Language Learners Definition of suspend

: to force (someone) to leave a job, position, or place for a usually short period of time as a form of punishment

: to stop (something) for a usually short period of time

: to make (something) happen later : to delay (something)


sus·pend | \ sə-ˈspend \
suspended; suspending

Kids Definition of suspend

1 : to force to give up some right or office for a time The cheater was suspended from school.

2 : to hang especially so as to be free except at one point A light bulb was suspended from the ceiling.

3 : to stop or do away with for a time The principal is suspending a rule.

4 : to stop operation or action for a time All business suspended during the storm.


transitive verb

Legal Definition of suspend 

1 : to debar temporarily from a privilege, office, or function

2a : to stop temporarily suspend trading

b : to make temporarily ineffective suspend a license

c : stay suspend a hearing

d : to defer until a later time — see also suspended sentence at sentence

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Comments on suspend

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


an open space surrounded by woods

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