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From Old French sospendre, from Latin suspendere.


  • IPA(key): /səsˈpɛnd/
  • Rhymes: -ɛnd
  • (file)


suspend (third-person singular simple present suspends, present participle suspending, simple past and past participle suspended)

  1. To halt something temporarily.
    The meeting was suspended for lunch.
    • c. 1603–1606, William Shakespeare, “The Tragedie of King Lear”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies [] (First Folio), London: [] Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, →OCLC, [Act I, scene ii]:
      Suspend your indignation against my brother.
    • 1636 (date written), John Denham, “The Destruction of Troy, an Essay upon the Second Book of Virgils Æneis”, in Poems and Translations, with The Sophy, 4th edition, London: [] [John Macock] for H[enry] Herringman [], published 1668, →OCLC:
      The guard nor fights nor flies; their fate so near / At once suspends their courage and their fear.
    • 1940 May, “Overseas Railways: Icebound Denmark”, in Railway Magazine, page 302:
      Pack ice, at times mounting to a height of 35 ft., snow, fog, and floating mines all played their part in the disorganisation of railway services, and most of the train ferry services were completely suspended for a month or more; [...].
    • 2020 August 26, “Network News: Major flood damage severs key Edinburgh-Glasgow rail artery”, in Rail, page 21:
      Services between Glasgow Queen Street and Edinburgh Waverley via Falkirk High are currently suspended, following a 30-metre breach of the Union Canal that occurred on August 12 after torrential rain and thunderstorms. The thousands of gallons of water that cascaded onto the railway line below washed away track, ballast and overhead line equipment, and undermined embankments along a 300-metre section of Scotland's busiest rail link.
  2. To hold in an undetermined or undecided state.
  3. To discontinue or interrupt a function, task, position, or event.
    to suspend a thread of execution in a computer program
  4. To hang freely; underhang.
    to suspend a ball by a thread
  5. To bring a solid substance, usually in powder form, into suspension in a liquid.
  6. (obsolete) To make to depend.
    • 1671, John Tillotson, “Sermon IV. The Advantages of Religion to Particular Persons. Psalm XIX. 11.”, in The Works of the Most Reverend Dr. John Tillotson, Late Lord Archbishop of Canterbury: [], 8th edition, London: [] T. Goodwin, B[enjamin] Tooke, and J. Pemberton, []; J. Round [], and J[acob] Tonson] [], published 1720, →OCLC:
      God hath all along in the Scripture suspended the promise of eternal life on the condition of obedience and holiness of life.
  7. To debar, or cause to withdraw temporarily, from any privilege, from the execution of an office, from the enjoyment of income, etc.
    to suspend a student from college; to suspend a member of a club
    • 1633, Robert Sanderson, Reason and Judgement:
      Whether good men should be suspended from the exercise of their ministry , and deprived of their livelyhood for ceremonies which are on all hands acknowledged indifferent.
  8. (chemistry) To support in a liquid, as an insoluble powder, by stirring, to facilitate chemical action.
  9. (travel, aviation) To remove the value of an unused coupon from an air ticket, typically so as to allow continuation of the next sectors' travel.


  • (to halt something temporarily; to discontinue or interrupt a function, task, position, or event): resume

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  1. third-person singular present indicative of suspendre