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

This is a series full of foreboding, suspense, and bloody battle sequences, all set against a slate gray landscape of misty downs, teeming with predators and studded with barbed wire. Taylor Antrim, Vogue, "Netflix’s Watership Down Is Not (Really) for Kids—And That’s a Good Thing," 22 Dec. 2018 Oh adds that the suspense factor has been ratcheted up. Danielle Stein Chizzik, Town & Country, "Jodie Comer Is Hollywood’s Next Great Chameleon," 8 Apr. 2019 The All of My Heart stars and Hallmark channel regulars have officially graduated to the Hallmark Movies & Mystery network for their latest project—a brand-spankin'-new suspense series. Blair Donovan, Country Living, "Hallmark Just Announced a New Mystery Movie Series Starring Lacey Chabert," 10 Mar. 2019 Her books at Curtis Brown focus on thrillers, suspense crime, historical and literary fiction as well as cookbooks. Amanda Mitchell, Marie Claire, "Who Is Felicity Blunt? The Literary Agent Is Related to Both Emily Blunt and Stanley Tucci," 1 Feb. 2019 This familiar premise leads to a twist: Instead of adrenaline rush suspense scenes, this plot languishes in mundane melancholia. Jason Zinoman, New York Times, "Review: In ‘The Night Eats the World,’ Zombie Apocalypse Now, Again," 12 July 2018 There are dots that could have been connected that the show skipped in the name of action and suspense beats. Daniel Fienberg, The Hollywood Reporter, "Critic's Notebook: 'Handmaid's Tale' Finale a Case of Brilliant Acting, Frustrating Storytelling," 11 July 2018 Mystery and suspense tales often begin with a knockout opening - a murder, a chase scene or a fateful knock at the detective's door. Maureen Corrigan, chicagotribune.com, "Forget about 007. This heroine has her own brand of spycraft.," 21 June 2018 In 2006, Sara Shepard published the best-selling novel Pretty Little Liars, the first in what has become one of the most successful young adult suspense series ever. Maureen Corrigan, Philly.com, "'The Elizas' by Sara Shepard: No 'Pretty Little Liars,' in fact not much at all," 2 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

18 May 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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