- a temporary stop or rest, especially in speech or action: a short pause after each stroke of the oar.
- a cessation of activity because of doubt or uncertainty; a momentary hesitation.
- any comparatively brief stop, delay, wait, etc.: I would like to make a pause in my talk and continue after lunch.
- a break or rest in speaking or reading to emphasize meaning, grammatical relation, metrical division, etc., or in writing or printing by the use of punctuation.
- Prosody. a break or suspension, as a caesura, in a line of verse.
- Music. a fermata.
- to make a brief stop or delay; wait; hesitate: He paused at the edge of the pool for a moment. I'll pause in my lecture so we can all get some coffee.
- to dwell or linger (usually followed by on or upon): to pause upon a particular point.
- give pause, to cause to hesitate or be unsure, as from surprise or doubt: These frightening statistics give us pause.
Origin of pause
SynonymsSee more synonyms for pause on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for pause
But pause for a second, and look back at what these generations of regulators and lawmakers have created.Red Tape Is Strangling Good Samaritans
Philip K. Howard
December 27, 2014
After a pause she invited me in with a warm smile, as if I were a neighbor.The Life and Hard Times Of The Family A Cuban Defector Left Behind
December 19, 2014
I had to pause for sheep crossing the road, which is a common occurrence when driving through the Highlands of Scotland.A Whisky Connoisseur Remembers That First Sip of The Macallan
December 10, 2014
It was I think [pause]…a quite evolved relationship, and one that made me very happy.All Eyes on Anjelica Huston: The Legendary Actress on Love, Abuse, and Jack Nicholson
November 10, 2014
Meditating could help you pause and think logically before your next big purchase or investment.Meditation Tips for the Easily Distracted
October 30, 2014
When he entered he had only to pause a moment before he had all the details clearly in mind.Way of the Lawless
Shall we pause now and turn our back upon the road that lies ahead?
She looked at me reflectively, and said, after a pause, "Because I see it so."De Libris: Prose and Verse
He did not pause to take in the beauty of that face, only its strength.
Even after the shutting of the door behind the prisoner, the pause endured for some moments.
- to cease an action temporarily; stop
- to hesitate; delayshe replied without pausing
- a temporary stop or rest, esp in speech or action; short break
- prosody another word for caesura
- Also called: fermata music a continuation of a note or rest beyond its normal lengthUsual symbol:
- give pause to to cause to hesitate
Word Origin and History for pause
early 15c., from Old French pausee "a pause, interruption" (14c.) and directly from Latin pausa "a halt, stop, cessation," from Greek pausis "stopping, ceasing," from pauein "to stop, to cause to cease," from PIE root *paus- "to leave, desert, cease, stop."
mid-15c., from pause (n.) and from Middle French pauser, from Late Latin pausare "to halt, cease, pause." Related: Paused; pausing.
- A temporary stop or cessation.
Idioms and Phrases with pause
see give pause.