- a state or condition of mental uncertainty or excitement, as in awaiting a decision or outcome, usually accompanied by a degree of apprehension or anxiety.
- a state of mental indecision.
- undecided or doubtful condition, as of affairs: For a few days matters hung in suspense.
- the state or condition of being suspended.
Origin of suspense
Examples from the Web for suspense
It has all the elements necessary for drama, controversy, and suspense.Amanda Knox: A Mother’s Obsession
November 26, 2014
The suspense was only over who would kill it: Obama or the Democrats.Keystone Senate Failure Is Environmental Kabuki Theater
November 19, 2014
But those two identifications are still subjects of debate, a problem that adds to the suspense now mounting at Amphipolis.Is This Alexander the Great’s Tomb?
September 13, 2014
Is it possible that there is an anti-feminist element buried in the nature of suspense itself?
Most crucially, Happy Valley revolutionizes the connection between rape and suspense.
He awaited, in an agony of suspense, the rattle of the musketry.The Old Manse (From "Mosses From An Old Manse")
"Don't keep me in suspense like this," cried the girl in a low but intense voice.In the Midst of Alarms
Now that everything had been done, that the last minute of suspense was on, she was depressed.Thoroughbreds
W. A. Fraser
"It is a long time when it is a year of suspense," said the recluse, shaking his head.Night and Morning, Complete
In either way, the certainty must be preferable to the suspense.Clarissa, Volume 2 (of 9)
- the condition of being insecure or uncertainthe matter of the succession remained in suspense for many years
- mental uncertainty; anxietytheir father's illness kept them in a state of suspense
- excitement felt at the approach of the climaxa play of terrifying suspense
- the condition of being suspended
Word Origin and History for suspense
c.1400, "not being executed, unfulfilled" (of legal matters), from Anglo-French suspens (in en suspens "in abeyance," c.1300), from Old French suspens "act of suspending," from Latin suspensus, past participle of suspendere (see suspend). Meaning "state of mental uncertainty" (mid-15c.) is from legal meaning of "not rendered, not paid, not carried out" (e.g. suspended sentence). As a genre of novels, stories, etc., attested from 1952.