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verb (used without object), ceased, ceas·ing.
  1. to stop; discontinue: Not all medieval beliefs have ceased to exist.
  2. to come to an end: At last the war has ceased.
  3. Obsolete. to pass away; die out.
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verb (used with object), ceased, ceas·ing.
  1. to put a stop or end to; discontinue: He begged them to cease their quarreling.
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  1. cessation: The noise of the drilling went on for hours without cease.
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Origin of cease

1250–1300; Middle English ces(s)en < Old French cesser < Latin cessāre to leave off, equivalent to cess(us) (past participle of cēdere to withdraw, go; ced- go + -tus past participle suffix) + -ā- thematic vowel + -re infinitive ending; see cede
Related formsun·ceased, adjective

Synonyms for cease

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Antonyms for cease

1, 2. begin.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for cease

quit, halt, discontinue, terminate, refrain, desist, fail, finish, end, die, drop, culminate, stay, surcease, close, intermit

Examples from the Web for cease

Contemporary Examples of cease

Historical Examples of cease

British Dictionary definitions for cease


  1. (when tr, may take a gerund or an infinitive as object) to bring or come to an end; desist from; stop
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  1. without cease without stopping; incessantly
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Word Origin for cease

C14: from Old French cesser, from Latin cessāre, frequentative of cēdere to yield, cede
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

Word Origin and History for cease


c.1300, cesen, from Old French cesser "to come to an end, stop, cease; give up, desist," from Latin cessare "to cease, go slow, give over, leave off, be idle," frequentative of cedere (past participle cessus) "go away, withdraw, yield" (see cede). Related: Ceased; ceasing. Old English in this sense had geswican, blinnan.

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"cessation, stopping," c.1300, from cease (n.) or else from Old French cesse "cease, cessation," from cesser.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with cease


In addition to the idiom beginning with cease

  • cease and desist

also see:

  • wonders will never cease
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The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.