suspend

verb
sus·​pend | \ sə-ˈspend How to pronounce suspend (audio) \
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

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. See More
Recent Examples on the Web All will suspend operations by the end of the month. Annie Berman, Anchorage Daily News, 16 June 2022 In addition, the PGA Tour will also suspend any other players who participate in LIV Golf tournaments in the future. Alexandra Schonfeld, PEOPLE.com, 10 June 2022 The governor's administration cannot suspend the RFG mandate unilaterally. Joe Sonka, The Courier-Journal, 9 June 2022 In fact, normally, the civil auditors may suspend the audit without explanation. Robert W. Wood, Forbes, 1 June 2022 Effective Wednesday, the state will suspend its gas tax for the rest of 2022. Chris Morris, Fortune, 1 June 2022 Starting June 1, New York will suspend its 16 cents per gallon gas tax through the end of the year. Aimee Picchi, CBS News, 1 June 2022 On a related note: Nebraska will suspend its tradition of releasing red balloons after the first touchdown of home games due to a global helium shortage, athletic director Trev Alberts announced on his radio show Monday. Paul Daugherty, The Enquirer, 24 May 2022 Despite the 204 penalty minutes, bloodshed and stickwork in Game 4’s third period, the NHL did not suspend or fine any players. Gene Myers, Detroit Free Press, 23 May 2022 See More

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.

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

Learn More About suspend

Time Traveler for suspend

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Dictionary Entries Near suspend

suspecter

suspend

suspend between

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for suspend

Last Updated

20 Jun 2022

Cite this Entry

“Suspend.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/suspend. Accessed 26 Jun. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More Definitions for suspend

suspend

verb
sus·​pend | \ sə-ˈspend How to pronounce suspend (audio) \
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.

suspend

transitive verb
sus·​pend

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

More from Merriam-Webster on suspend

Nglish: Translation of suspend for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of suspend for Arabic Speakers

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

Which Word Does Not Belong?

  • one green toy robot amidst many red toy robots
  • Which of these words does not mean "nonsense"?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!