verb (used without object), sur·ceased, sur·ceas·ing.

to cease from some action; desist.
to come to an end.

verb (used with object), sur·ceased, sur·ceas·ing.

Archaic. to cease from; leave off.


cessation; end.

Origin of surcease

1400–50; sur-1 + cease; replacing late Middle English sursesen (v.) < Middle French sursis (past participle of surseoir) < Latin supersessus (past participle of supersedēre to forbear; see supersede), equivalent to super- super- + sed(ēre) sit1 + -tus past participle suffix, with dt > ss Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for surcease

delay, refrain, rest, stay, defer, desist, postpone

Examples from the Web for surcease

Historical Examples of surcease

British Dictionary definitions for surcease



cessation or intermission


to desist from (some action)
to cease or cause to cease

Word Origin for surcease

C16: from earlier sursesen, from Old French surseoir, from Latin supersedēre; see supersede
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 surcease

early 15c., "cease from an action, desist," from Anglo-French surseser, from Old French sursis, past participle of surseoir "to refrain, delay," from Latin supersedere (see supersede). The English spelling with -c- was influenced by the unrelated verb cease.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper