\ 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

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
Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Sullivan also spoke with his Chinese counterpart Yang Jiechi earlier in the week and urged Beijing to use its influence to persuade the North to cease the tests. Fox News, 21 May 2022 During his sentencing hearing, a Milwaukee County judge ordered him to cease contact with the group as a condition of his extended supervision. Elliot Hughes, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 11 May 2022 The call for investment in Ukraine coincides with other calls on businesses to cease their engagements in Russia. Colin Lodewick, Fortune, 10 May 2022 SAC Capital Advisors pleaded guilty to insider-trading charges in 2013, paid $1.8 billion in penalties and agreed to cease managing outside money for two years. Juliet Chung, WSJ, 9 May 2022 In his new lawsuit, Morris’s company wants a judge to issue an injunction ordering VMI and NewPoint Strategies to cease any work under the college’s pending contract. Washington Post, 16 Apr. 2022 However, this unlawful phenomenon led the OCM in early February 2022 to send over two dozen letters ordering businesses suspected of illegally selling or gifting cannabis to cease and desist those activities. Dario Sabaghi, Forbes, 15 Apr. 2022 San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria is ready to cease talks with two of the five teams competing to lease and remake the city’s 48-acre sports arena site in the Midway District. Jennifer Van Grove, San Diego Union-Tribune, 12 Apr. 2022 The owners of Smoke Tokes and Green Buddha struck a plea deal with city prosecutors and paid more than $100,000 for the investigation and agreed to cease operating in the Boyd Street area. Richard Wintonstaff Writer, Los Angeles Times, 30 Mar. 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun By the time a cease-fire was signed the following year, Maryinka had been shattered. Sudarsan Raghavan, Anchorage Daily News, 21 May 2022 German, French and Italian suggestions of a cease-fire have been rejected angrily and even bitterly by Kyiv as selfish and poorly timed. New York Times, 21 May 2022 By the time of the a cease-fire was signed the following year, Maryinka had been shattered. Sudarsan Raghavan, Washington Post, 21 May 2022 Even so, sooner or later, the war will end in a cease-fire or armistice. Stephen Fidler, WSJ, 19 May 2022 Mariupol's mayor confirmed that a cease-fire remains in place in the port city. Bynadine El-bawab, ABC News, 17 May 2022 Earlier this month the civilians who had sheltered inside the steel plant for weeks alongside the fighters were evacuated under a cease-fire agreement. Alexander Smith, NBC News, 17 May 2022 Russian forces have refused to honor a cease-fire in Mariupol that was agreed last week. Bojan Pancevski, WSJ, 8 May 2022 The tone was firm, with no mention of any potential diplomacy or cease-fire. New York Times, 8 May 2022 See More

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.

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

Learn More About cease

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

24 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Cease.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/cease. Accessed 28 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for cease


\ 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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