suspended animation


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

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 Increasingly beset by uncontrollable twitches, loss of balance and hallucinations, patients beg for a return to suspended animation. Dallas News, 28 June 2022 For the past eight months, the yellow-bellied marmot has been hibernating, existing in suspended animation to survive the bitterly cold winter. Holly Barker, Discover Magazine, 6 Apr. 2022 With the economy practically in suspended animation at the start of the pandemic, car sales plummeted. Rob Nikolewski, San Diego Union-Tribune, 14 Feb. 2022 One solution long championed by science fiction is suspended animation, or putting humans in a hibernation-like sleep for the duration of travel time. CNN, 28 Dec. 2020 With the agreements with Mexico and Central American in suspended animation during the pandemic, Title 42 is necessary stopgap that Biden will come under intense pressure from pro-immigration groups to reverse. The Editors, National Review, 15 Nov. 2020 Four days after the election, the U.S. presidential race hovered in suspended animation Saturday as the long, exacting work of counting votes brought Democrat Joe Biden ever closer to a victory over President Donald Trump. Staff and Wire Reports,, 7 Nov. 2020 New York City, where nearly 24,000 people have died from COVID-19, remains in a kind of suspended animation more than six months after the disease raced across its five boroughs and crippled America's largest metropolis. Megan Cerullo, CBS News, 1 Oct. 2020 Good employment numbers, stock-market uncertainty, New York City’s suspended animation, and more. Andrew Stuttaford, National Review, 4 Sep. 2020

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'suspended animation.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1787, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of suspended animation was in 1787

Dictionary Entries Near suspended animation

Cite this Entry

“Suspended animation.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 May. 2024.

Kids Definition

suspended animation

: temporary suspension of the bodily functions necessary to maintain life

Medical Definition

suspended animation

sus·​pend·​ed animation sə-ˈspend-əd- How to pronounce suspended animation (audio)
: temporary suspension of the vital functions (as in persons nearly drowned)
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