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

Lapena’s menacing suspense thriller traces the consequences — including murder — when a teenager in suburban New York breaks into his neighbors’ homes and snoops through the secrets on their computers. New York Times, "New & Noteworthy Audiobooks, From Ernest Hemingway to the Baby-Sitters Club," 13 Aug. 2019 When Deer Park and Clear Falls meet on the volleyball court, suspense and excitement will surely follow. Robert Avery, Houston Chronicle, "Lady Deer open volleyball season with thrilling 3-2 win over Clear Falls," 8 Aug. 2019 The show is full of suspense and mystery, minus the supernatural. Jasmine Gomez, Seventeen, "12 Shows Like "Stranger Things" You Should Make Your Next Binge-Watch," 12 July 2019 This one has drama, suspense and action written all over it. SI.com, "WWC Semi-Final: Two Players to Look Out for as the Lionesses Meet the USWNT," 2 July 2019 The American Film Institute has created lists of the top 100 films in all of what are considered the most significant genres of film: comedy, action/suspense, and romance. Alec Dent, National Review, "North by Northwest Turns 60," 28 June 2019 Orwell created a story that had suspense and had characters whom readers identify with. Louis Menand, The New Yorker, "“1984” at Seventy: Why We Still Read Orwell’s Book of Prophecy," 8 June 2019 So this episode, despite its suspense and interesting characters, is missing their magic. Outlander Fan, Marie Claire, "'Outlander' Season 4 Episode 12 Recap: 5 Biggest Takeaways," 21 Jan. 2019 This 1943 suspense thriller from Alfred Hitchcock, set in Santa Rosa, about a suave serial killer (Joseph Cotten), was one of its director’s favorites. Chronicle Staff Reports, San Francisco Chronicle, "Things to do in the Bay Area on Friday, May 11," 9 May 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

7 Sep 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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