\ ˈsēs How to pronounce cease (audio) \
ceased; ceasing

Definition of cease

 (Entry 1 of 2)

transitive verb

: to cause to come to an end especially gradually : no longer continue they were forced to cease operations cease to exist

intransitive verb

1a : to come to an end the fighting gradually ceased
b : to bring an activity or action to an end : discontinue they have been ordered to cease and desist
2 obsolete : to become extinct : die out



Definition of cease (Entry 2 of 2)

: cessation usually used with without I kept an eye upon her without cease— R. L. Stevenson

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Choose the Right Synonym for cease


stop, cease, quit, discontinue, desist mean to suspend or cause to suspend activity. stop applies to action or progress or to what is operating or progressing and may imply suddenness or definiteness. stopped at the red light 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 quit may stress either finality or abruptness in stopping or ceasing. the engine faltered, sputtered, then quit altogether discontinue applies to the stopping of an accustomed activity or practice. we have discontinued the manufacture of that item desist implies forbearance or restraint as a motive for stopping or ceasing. desisted from further efforts to persuade them

Examples of cease in a Sentence

Verb The fighting along the border has temporarily ceased. The factory ceased operations last year. The child would not cease his constant whining. Noun worked without cease for the betterment of humanity
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Shortly after it was issued a cease-and-desist order, Reelax Asian Massage closed its doors. John Benson, cleveland, 25 Aug. 2021 The billboard along a Massachusetts interstate highway was taken down in April, three days after Baron Cohen's attorneys sent a cease-and-desist order to the dispensary, according to the suit. NBC News, 13 July 2021 But less than a week before opening night, Auerfarm was issued a cease-and-desist order because it was not permitted to hold performance events. courant.com, 9 July 2021 Police entered the building and issued a cease-and-desist order threatening fines and arrests. Darcel Rockett, chicagotribune.com, 8 June 2021 Similar cease-and-desist orders have also been sent to media outlets who are covering the CRT battle in LCPS, Fox News has learned. Kelly Laco, Fox News, 29 May 2021 In response to this complaint, a panel of judges can approve a cease-and-desist order against the offending company and block its imports. Clifford Atiyeh, Car and Driver, 21 May 2021 But YouthBuild backed out of a potential partnership before it was finalized, according to The Washington Post, and later sent a cease-and-desist letter to Bishop Sycamore when the school continued to publicly tout a relationship with YouthBuild. Tom Schad, USA TODAY, 2 Sep. 2021 Jaguar has also sent a lawyer's cease-and-desist letter to at least one U.K.-based creator of C-type replicas. Mike Duff, Car and Driver, 2 Sep. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The war ended with a cease-fire in mid-2020 and, after pressure from the Russian government, Mr. Shugaley was released last December. Thomas Grove, WSJ, 5 Oct. 2021 Last year, Turkey and Russia reached a cease-fire agreement that halted a three-month Syrian government offensive in Idlib and also saw rare direct fighting between Syrian and Turkish troops. Arkansas Online, 30 Sep. 2021 That offensive ended with a cease-fire negotiated by Messrs. Putin and Erdogan in March 2020. Jared Malsin, WSJ, 29 Sep. 2021 She was detained on the same day that former President Trump and Xi Jinping met at the Group of 20 summit of world leaders in Argentina and had just agreed to a cease-fire in their trade war. Robert Legare, CBS News, 24 Sep. 2021 The exchange threatened a fragile cease-fire that has been in place since an 11-day conflict in May that left 13 dead in Israel and more than 250 dead in Gaza. Washington Post, 19 Sep. 2021 Since May, Egypt has played a key role brokering and trying to reinforce a cease-fire in the Gaza Strip after 11 days of conflict there between Israel and the Palestinian militant group Hamas, which controls the enclave. Washington Post, 14 Sep. 2021 Bennett praised Egypt's role in brokering the cease-fire after the May conflict between Israel and Hamas in the Gaza Strip. Yonat Friling, Fox News, 13 Sep. 2021 Tensions have risen after last week's escape from an Israeli prison by six Palestinian inmates, as well as struggling efforts by Egypt to broker a long-term cease-fire in the wake of an 11-day war last May. Josef Federman, ajc, 13 Sep. 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'cease.' 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 cease


14th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense


14th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for cease

Verb and Noun

Middle English cesen, from Anglo-French cesser, from Latin cessare to hold back, be remiss, frequentative of cedere

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Time Traveler for cease

Time Traveler

The first known use of cease was in the 14th century

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Dictionary Entries Near cease

Ceará rubber


cease and desist

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Statistics for cease

Last Updated

15 Oct 2021

Cite this Entry

“Cease.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/cease. Accessed 18 Oct. 2021.

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More Definitions for cease



English Language Learners Definition of cease

: to stop happening : to end
: to stop doing (something)


\ ˈsēs How to pronounce cease (audio) \
ceased; ceasing

Kids Definition of cease

: to come or bring to an end : stop The talking ceased.

More from Merriam-Webster on cease

Nglish: Translation of cease for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of cease for Arabic Speakers


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