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Synonym Chooser

How is the word discontinue distinct from other similar verbs?

Some common synonyms of discontinue are cease, desist, quit, and stop. While all these words mean "to suspend or cause to suspend activity," discontinue applies to the stopping of an accustomed activity or practice.

we have discontinued the manufacture of that item

When might cease be a better fit than discontinue?

In some situations, the words cease and discontinue are roughly equivalent. However, 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 discontinue?

While the synonyms desist and discontinue are close in meaning, desist implies forbearance or restraint as a motive for stopping or ceasing.

desisted from further efforts to persuade them

When is it sensible to use quit instead of discontinue?

The meanings of quit and discontinue largely overlap; however, quit may stress either finality or abruptness in stopping or ceasing.

the engine faltered, sputtered, then quit altogether

When could stop be used to replace discontinue?

The words stop and discontinue can be used in similar contexts, but 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 discontinue

Cite this Entry

“Discontinue.” Merriam-Webster.com Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/thesaurus/discontinue. Accessed 9 Dec. 2022.

More from Merriam-Webster on discontinue

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