suspense

noun
sus·​pense | \ sə-ˈspen(t)s How to pronounce suspense (audio) \

Definition of suspense

1 : the state of being suspended : suspension
2a : mental uncertainty : anxiety
b : pleasant excitement as to a decision or outcome a novel of suspense
3 : the state or character of being undecided or doubtful : indecisiveness

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Other Words from suspense

suspenseful \ sə-​ˈspen(t)s-​fəl How to pronounce suspenseful (audio) \ adjective
suspensefully \ sə-​ˈspen(t)s-​fə-​lē How to pronounce suspensefully (audio) \ adverb
suspensefulness \ sə-​ˈspen(t)s-​fəl-​nəs How to pronounce suspensefulness (audio) \ noun
suspenseless \ sə-​ˈspen(t)s-​ləs How to pronounce suspenseless (audio) \ adjective

Examples of suspense in a Sentence

I can't bear the suspense. The suspense builds as the story progresses. Alfred Hitchcock was a master of suspense. The movie is a suspense thriller.
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Recent Examples on the Web Given the high cultural and economic stakes, however, there wasn’t all that much suspense in the air. Gilbert Garcia, ExpressNews.com, "Garcia: San Antonio leaders made the only reasonable choice postponing Fiesta amid coronavirus pandemic," 14 Mar. 2020 Arizona's five House Democrats There wasn't much suspense about the impeachment vote in the House. Ronald J. Hansen, azcentral, "Look out, here's who President Donald Trump may attack at Phoenix rally," 19 Feb. 2020 But there was clearly suspense before going public. Bryan Alexander, USA TODAY, "How 'Sonic the Hedgehog' avoided death by Twitter with a dramatic, game-saving redesign," 13 Feb. 2020 There will be suspense as the final envelope is opened, but both films deserve the most important honor in the film industry — for different reasons. Lara Horwitz, NBC News, "What did Kobe Bryant win an Oscar for?," 12 Feb. 2020 There's always some suspense over who shows up and who stays away. Laurie Kellman, Anchorage Daily News, "Trump faces impeachment accusers in State of the Union: What to watch for during his speech," 4 Feb. 2020 And yet there is real suspense, in the way that the Trump Presidency has conditioned us to expect: Will there be wild new revelations? Susan B. Glasser, The New Yorker, "Spoiler Alert: There Will Be No Impartial Justice for Donald Trump," 17 Jan. 2020 The Blooms’ now-dark, now-comic relationship has a payoff in Act 2, which is all suspense and anguished intensity. Washington Post, "The drama of saving refugee children in 1939, and a journey that’s just as moving and meaningful today," 16 Jan. 2020 So there really wasn’t much suspense on Saturday night at Husky Stadium. Richard Dean, Houston Chronicle, "Houston Baptist offense amasses 749 yards in stomping of Texas Southern," 28 Sep. 2019

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

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for suspense

Middle English, from Anglo-French, from suspendre

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Time Traveler for suspense

Time Traveler

The first known use of suspense was in the 15th century

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Statistics for suspense

Last Updated

5 Apr 2020

Cite this Entry

“Suspense.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/suspense. Accessed 28 May. 2020.

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More Definitions for suspense

suspense

noun
How to pronounce suspense (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of suspense

: a feeling or state of nervousness or excitement caused by wondering what will happen

suspense

noun
sus·​pense | \ sə-ˈspens How to pronounce suspense (audio) \

Kids Definition of suspense

: uncertainty, worry, or excitement in wondering about the result of something Annemarie always tried … to build up the suspense and tantalize her sister.— Lois Lowry, Number the Stars

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Comments on suspense

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