suspense

noun sus·pense \ sə-ˈspen(t)s \
Updated on: 3 Dec 2017

Definition of suspense

1 : the state of being suspended : suspension
2 a : 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

suspenseful

play \-fəl\ adjective

suspensefully

play \-fə-lē\ adverb

suspensefulness

play \-fəl-nəs\ noun

suspenseless

play \-ləs\ adjective

Examples of suspense in a Sentence

  1. I can't bear the suspense.

  2. The suspense builds as the story progresses.

  3. Alfred Hitchcock was a master of suspense.

  4. The movie is a suspense thriller.

Recent Examples of suspense from the Web

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.

Origin and Etymology of suspense

Middle English, from Anglo-French, from suspendre



SUSPENSE Defined for English Language Learners

suspense

noun

Definition of suspense for English Language Learners

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


SUSPENSE Defined for Kids

suspense

noun sus·pense \ sə-ˈspens \

Definition of suspense for Students

: 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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