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Synonym Chooser

How is the word cease distinct from other similar verbs?

Some common synonyms of cease are desist, discontinue, quit, and stop. While all these words mean "to suspend or cause to suspend activity," cease applies to states, conditions, or existence and may add a suggestion of gradualness and a degree of finality.

by nightfall the fighting had ceased

When can desist be used instead of cease?

The words desist and cease can be used in similar contexts, but desist implies forbearance or restraint as a motive for stopping or ceasing.

desisted from further efforts to persuade them

In what contexts can discontinue take the place of cease?

The synonyms discontinue and cease are sometimes interchangeable, but discontinue applies to the stopping of an accustomed activity or practice.

we have discontinued the manufacture of that item

When is it sensible to use quit instead of cease?

While in some cases nearly identical to cease, quit may stress either finality or abruptness in stopping or ceasing.

the engine faltered, sputtered, then quit altogether

When would stop be a good substitute for cease?

In some situations, the words stop and cease are roughly equivalent. However, stop applies to action or progress or to what is operating or progressing and may imply suddenness or definiteness.

stopped at the red light

Thesaurus Entries Near cease

Cite this Entry

“Cease.” Merriam-Webster.com Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/thesaurus/cease. Accessed 21 Apr. 2024.

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