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[suh-spend] /səˈspɛnd/
verb (used with object)
to hang by attachment to something above:
to suspend a chandelier from the ceiling.
to attach so as to allow free movement:
to suspend a door on a hinge.
to keep from falling, sinking, forming a deposit, etc., as if by hanging:
to suspend solid particles in a liquid.
to hold or keep undetermined; refrain from forming or concluding definitely:
to suspend one's judgment.
to defer or postpone:
to suspend sentence on a convicted person.
to cause to cease or bring to a stop or stay, usually for a time:
to suspend payment.
to cause to cease for a time from operation or effect, as a law, rule, privilege, service, or the like:
to suspend ferry service.
to debar, usually for a limited time, from the exercise of an office or function or the enjoyment of a privilege:
The student was suspended from school.
to keep in a mood or feeling of expectation or incompleteness; keep waiting in suspense:
Finish the story; don't suspend us in midair.
Music. to prolong (a note or tone) into the next chord.
verb (used without object)
to come to a stop, usually temporarily; cease from operation for a time.
to stop payment; be unable to meet financial obligations.
to hang or be suspended, as from another object:
The chandelier suspends from the ceiling.
to be suspended, as in a liquid, gas, etc.
Origin of suspend
1250-1300; Middle English suspenden < Latin suspendere to hang up, equivalent to sus- sus- + pendere (transitive) to hang (see pend, suspense)
Related forms
suspendible, adjective
suspendibility, noun
nonsuspended, adjective
presuspend, verb (used with object)
resuspend, verb
self-suspended, adjective
unsuspended, adjective
unsuspendible, adjective
6. hold up, intermit. See interrupt. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for suspend
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • suspend this affair inside your tent by means of cords or tapes.

    The Forest Stewart Edward White
  • Charles is said to have heard his plea, and to have sent an order to suspend sentence.

  • That is what is unknown to us, and obliges us to suspend our judgment on this question.

    The Phantom World Augustin Calmet
  • The longer I suspend the blow the heavier it will fall at last.

    Victor's Triumph Mrs. E. D. E. N. Southworth
  • I understand their feelings, but beg them to suspend their judgment.

    The Memoires of Casanova, Complete Jacques Casanova de Seingalt
British Dictionary definitions for suspend


(transitive) to hang from above so as to permit free movement
(transitive; passive) to cause to remain floating or hanging: a cloud of smoke was suspended over the town
(transitive) to render inoperative or cause to cease, esp temporarily: to suspend interest payments
(transitive) to hold in abeyance; postpone action on: to suspend a decision
(transitive) to debar temporarily from privilege, office, etc, as a punishment
(transitive) (chem) to cause (particles) to be held in suspension in a fluid
(transitive) (music) to continue (a note) until the next chord is sounded, with which it usually forms a dissonance See suspension (sense 11)
(intransitive) to cease payment, as from incapacity to meet financial obligations
(transitive) (obsolete) to put or keep in a state of anxiety or wonder
(intransitive) (obsolete) to be attached from above
Derived Forms
suspendible, suspensible, adjective
suspendibility, noun
Word Origin
C13: from Latin suspendere from sub- + pendere to hang
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for suspend

late 13c., "to bar or exclude temporarily from some function or privilege, to cause to cease for a time," from Old French suspendre, from Latin suspendere "to hang, stop," from sub "up from under" (see sub-) + pendere "cause to hang, weigh" (see pendant). The literal sense of "to cause to hang by a support from above" is recorded from mid-15c. Suspenders is attested from 1810, American English. Suspended animation first recorded 1795.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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