[ sur-sees ]
/ sɜrˈsis /
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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.



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“Was” is used for the indicative past tense of “to be,” and “were” is only used for the subjunctive past tense.

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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
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021

Example sentences from the Web for surcease

British Dictionary definitions for surcease

/ (sɜːˈsiːs) archaic /


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