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

Caitriona Balfe and Sam Heughan bring such emotional depth to their characters and their on screen chemistry is so compelling that without them, this episode, while loaded with suspense, feels hollow. Outlander Fan, Marie Claire, "5 Biggest Takeaways From 'Outlander' Season 4 Episode 7," 17 Dec. 2018 Users began replying to Blair with intense interest, many waiting in suspense for each of her next updates. Kelli Stacy, courant.com, "Former UConn Soccer Player Euan Holden Part Of Viral Twitter Thread About In-Flight Romance," 6 July 2018 And Molloy repeatedly generates suspense by depriving the reader of information (as opposed to, say, having actually suspenseful stuff happen). Katherine Heiny, New York Times, "The Struggles of Modern Motherhood in Essays, a Thriller and a Dystopian Novel," 8 June 2018 As Cody and his kids work to dominate the top rankings in the rodeo finals and Bill struggles to maintain the ranch, the story generates genuine suspense. Michael Berry, San Francisco Chronicle, "‘The Last Cowboys: A Pioneer Family in the New West,’ by John Branch," 17 May 2018 The Rockets should push the Warriors to six games, but that will be about as much suspense as their title defense holds. The Crossover Staff, SI.com, "2018 NBA Finals Predictions: Can Anyone Stop the Warriors?," 12 Apr. 2018 Now the suspense has shifted, as viewers wait to see if Glenn will finally take home an Oscar for her performance. Marie Milano, Country Living, "What Is 'The Wife' Movie About? Everything to Know About Glenn Close's New Film," 24 Feb. 2019 The suspense here derives from Slump-era economics. Joe Morgenstern, WSJ, "‘Mary Poppins Returns’ Review: Hard Medicine to Swallow," 20 Dec. 2018 There is little suspense about whether the bills will clear the Rules Committee; the panel is stacked with Republicans and chaired by Cox. Laura Vozzella, Washington Post, "Speaker of Va. House signals willingness to consider Medicaid expansion, but with strings attached," 29 Jan. 2018

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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Statistics for suspense

Last Updated

23 Mar 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for suspense

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

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More Definitions for suspense

suspense

noun

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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