- 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 suspenseful
A sure-fire draft pick turned into a 50-50 chance, and then a suspenseful wait through the final rounds of the NFL draft.Michael Sam Makes NFL History At Last
May 11, 2014
“I wanted to create a suspenseful sequence,” he explained to the crowd.David Chase Can’t Escape ‘The Sopranos’ Finale
May 1, 2014
“Omar” is funny and suspenseful, with the perfect balance of romance and action.'Omar' and the Oscars
December 16, 2013
But these are minor quibbles for a work as unrelentingly ambitious and suspenseful as A Dance With Dragons.George R.R. Martin’s Triumphant Return
July 7, 2011
Wallner brings the 1970s Soviet Union to life in this suspenseful tale of love and espionage during the Cold War.This Week's Hot Reads
The Daily Beast
April 28, 2011
- 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 suspenseful
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.