suspended animation


Definition of suspended animation

1 : temporary suspension of the vital functions (as in persons nearly drowned)
2 : a condition (such as inactivity) likened to suspended animation

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Examples of suspended animation in a Sentence

animals that sleep through the winter in a state of suspended animation the husband's feeling that their love life was in suspended animation while his wife lavished all her attention on the new baby
Recent Examples on the Web And more speculatively, such methods might one day approximate the musings about suspended animation that turn up in the movies. Simon Makin, Scientific American, "Switch in Mouse Brain Induces a Deep Slumber Similar to Hibernation," 15 June 2020 Welcome to the Great Shutdown, as wide swaths of the American economy enter suspended animation to combat the spread of the coronavirus. Anders Melin,, "From Schools to Bars, Closures Mark America’s Big Shutdown," 5 May 2020 The idea is to keep us in suspended animation until the worst of the danger has passed. John Gurda, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "A balm for coronavirus anxiety: Milwaukee's wild places, where the rhythms of nature are steady as ever," 30 Apr. 2020 The seasons march on, for frogs and foxes, even as our own period of suspended animation stretches out before us, indefinitely. Dan Chiasson, The New York Review of Books, "Pandemic Journal," 29 Apr. 2020 Among the many complications of the study are the unknown effects of suspended animation on long-term health. Claire Bugos, Smithsonian, "Doctors Put a Patient in Suspended Animation for the First Time," 23 Nov. 2019 But the killing of Soleimani revealed that the neocon military-intellectual complex is very much still intact, with the ability to spring back to life from a state of suspended animation in an instant. Jacob Heilbrunn, The New Republic, "The Neocons Strike Back," 23 Jan. 2020 Peru will be in suspended animation until a new congress is elected in January 2020. The Economist, "2019 in review: protest and populism in Latin America," 25 Dec. 2019 Without a pulse or any measurable brain activity, these patients are in true suspended animation by any measure. Caroline Delbert, Popular Mechanics, "Doctors Place Humans in True Suspended Animation for First Time," 20 Nov. 2019

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

1787, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for suspended animation

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The first known use of suspended animation was in 1787

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Statistics for suspended animation

Last Updated

20 Jun 2020

Cite this Entry

“Suspended animation.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 11 Aug. 2020.

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More Definitions for suspended animation

suspended animation


English Language Learners Definition of suspended animation

: a state in which the processes of the body (such as blood circulation) stop or become very slow for a period of time while a person or animal is unconscious

suspended animation

sus·​pend·​ed animation | \ sə-ˈspend-əd- How to pronounce suspended animation (audio) \

Medical Definition of suspended animation

: temporary suspension of the vital functions (as in persons nearly drowned)

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