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

Double fly nymph rigs have been very effective (my current favorite is a bead head pheasant tail (#14) with a ruby midge (#18) suspended below it. Tyler Mahoney Special To The Star, kansascity, "Fishing report: Catfish action picking up in Kansas, Missouri lakes," 11 July 2018 The space was gutted and redesigned to be more open and less walled-in, but the one holdover from the previous tenant is the bare Edison lightbulbs suspended from the ceiling, which adds a contemporary touch. Donald Liebenson,, "Guide to outdoor dining in Chicago suburbs: Beelow's NorthShore in Highland Park," 11 July 2018 Canada’s immigration ministry suspended Istuary from the start-up visa program after learning of the allegations. Dan Levin, New York Times, "A Tech Guru Captivated Canada. Then He Fled to China.," 10 July 2018 The unique form that appears to be suspended from Kom_i's body expresses the mysterious embodiment of the enigmatic princess who looks human but is not. Billboard Japan, Billboard, "Watch J-Pop Group Wednesday Campanella's New Video, 'The Bamboo Princess'," 6 July 2018 Attendees traveled through the house, posing with props including a human-size egg crate and an eggshell swing suspended from the ceiling. Lara Korte, WSJ, "Pop-up ‘Museums’ Are Instagram Fans’ Favorite Place to Pose," 5 July 2018 The five players were seniors when they were charged in September and were suspended from the football team. Clifford Ward, Wheaton Glen Ellyn, "Video could be key in Wheaton College football hazing case, attorney says. But does it exist?," 26 June 2018 And in the evening, white lights suspended from the pergola join with the stars overhead. Jane Ford-stewart, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "5 great restaurants in Greendale, West Allis with outdoor seating (and some old favorites)," 14 June 2018 Not long after, he was charged with financial crimes, suspended from the Senate, took a job as the manager of a strip club and pleaded guilty to assault and cocaine charges. Nestor Ramos,, "President Trump called Trudeau ‘meek.’ The guy who faced him in a boxing ring begs to differ," 12 June 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

2 Oct 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).


evasion of direct action or statement

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