suspense

noun
sus·​pense | \ sə-ˈspen(t)s \

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

The singer-songwriter-actress could teach a masterclass on building suspense for her new songs off her fifth album, which she's been releasing one at a time. Katherine J. Igoe, Marie Claire, "Ariana Grande Teased Her New Song in the Most Brilliant Way," 14 Dec. 2018 There’s an overwhelming sense of dread and suspense lurking in the trailer, which means that season three is basically guaranteed to be a wild ride. Kara Nesvig, Teen Vogue, "Noah Centineo Returns to Hulu's "T@gged" In Creepy New Season 3 Trailer," 29 Nov. 2018 The suspense over all this was palpable earlier this week. Chris Stirewalt, Fox News, "Fox News Power Rankings: Hello, Wisconsin," 12 July 2018 President Donald Trump has reveled in building up the suspense as other controversies swirl around him. Morning Brief, The Seattle Times, "A station could be making firefighters sick, Sue Bird makes history and more rescues from the Thai cave | Monday Morning Brief, July 9," 9 July 2018 Trump and aides have also been teasing reporters over the selection process, seeking to build suspense ahead of the big event. David Jackson, USA TODAY, "President Trump saves Supreme Court announcement for prime time," 9 July 2018 Trump has reveled in building up suspense in the days leading up to his speech, offering fragments of information here and there but strategically keeping the guessing game alive. BostonGlobe.com, "Trump’s reveal of his Supreme Court choice will be a show, and that’s how he likes it," 8 July 2018 Over nine weeks, Westworld hasn’t successfully built suspense around getting the how of its foreshadowed flood answered, but here’s hoping the splashy ends of this season justify its all-too-dry means. The Atlantic, "Westworld: Who Cares About the Man in Black?," 17 June 2018 Actress Sophie Skelton does a good job with the role and the episode has a lot of suspense. Outlander Fan, Marie Claire, "5 Biggest Takeaways From 'Outlander' Season 4 Episode 7," 17 Dec. 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

12 Jan 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 \

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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