- 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 paused
The detectives are still at it, seeking to account for a period of time when Brinsley may well have paused to sit somewhere.Exclusive: Inside a Cop-Killer’s Final Hours
December 31, 2014
But asked if he would say “Merry Christmas” to someone who he knew did not celebrate the holiday, he paused for several seconds.A Field General in the War on Christmas
December 24, 2014
Asked what kind of support he got from rank-and-file Democrats, he paused before replying with a hearty laugh.Repubs Should Take It From Kucinich: Impeachment Isn’t Worth It
December 5, 2014
Johnson recalled that Brown paused to chat with some construction workers.90 Seconds of Fury in Ferguson Are the Key to Making Peace in America
November 26, 2014
Her voice was raspy and after answering questions she paused, as if about to faint.Jeopardy! Champion Julia Collins’s Brain Feels Like Mush
November 20, 2014
In this holy atmosphere we paused for a moment in silent reverence.Philothea
Lydia Maria Child
Passing the Jewish cemetery, Kate and Harry paused a moment.
Philip, after a moment's hesitation, followed her, and paused in the doorway.
She paused, with a look of expectation, as if she waited for my consenting answer.Clarissa, Volume 1 (of 9)
"I'll see you later," said Grace, as they paused for a moment in front of Vinton's.Grace Harlowe's Return to Overton Campus
Jessie Graham Flower
- 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 paused
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 paused
see give pause.