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 suspense (audio) \ adjective
suspensefully \ sə-​ˈspen(t)s-​fə-​lē How to pronounce suspense (audio) \ adverb
suspensefulness \ sə-​ˈspen(t)s-​fəl-​nəs How to pronounce suspense (audio) \ noun
suspenseless \ sə-​ˈspen(t)s-​ləs How to pronounce suspense (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 Thanks to a weirdly half-hearted flashback structure, these sequences also feel drained of suspense. Bilge Ebiri, Vulture, "Chris Rock and Samuel L. Jackson Can’t Quite Save Spiral: From the Book of Saw," 13 May 2021 When the envelope is opened, there will be a delectable moment of suspense. Los Angeles Times, "Oscars 2021: Five things to look for at Sunday’s Academy Awards ceremony," 23 Apr. 2021 Once switched, it can’t be undone, though, creating an element of suspense. Kelly Crow, WSJ, "Digital Artist Pak Sells NFT Works for $17 Million at Sotheby’s," 14 Apr. 2021 The 27th annual Screen Actors Guild awards are upon us, and while the format looks a little different this year—with the hostless, hour-long ceremony being pre-taped—there's still plenty of suspense in the air. Emma Specter, Vogue, "The Full List of 2021 SAG Award Winners," 4 Apr. 2021 The suspense of her work would be inexplicable sometimes if considering only the subject. Cathleen Schine, The New York Review of Books, "The Struggle and the Scramble," 16 Mar. 2021 The measure so closely tracks Democrats’ priorities that several rank it with the top achievements of their careers, and despite their slender congressional majorities there was never real suspense over its fate. Alan Fram, ajc, "Congress OKs $1.9T virus relief bill in win for Biden, Dems," 11 Mar. 2021 The measure so closely tracks Democrats’ priorities that several rank it with the top achievements of their careers, and despite their slender congressional majorities there was never real suspense over its fate. Alan Fram, Anchorage Daily News, "Congress passes $1.9 trillion pandemic relief bill that includes $1,400 stimulus checks for most Americans," 11 Mar. 2021 The measure so closely tracks Democrats’ priorities that several rank it with the top achievements of their careers, and despite their slender congressional majorities there was never real suspense over its fate. Alan Fram, chicagotribune.com, "Stimulus check updates: US House expected to send $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief bill to Biden," 10 Mar. 2021

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

18 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Suspense.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/suspense. Accessed 18 May. 2021.

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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

Comments on suspense

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