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suspense

[ suh-spens ]
/ səˈspɛns /
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See synonyms for: suspense / suspenseful on Thesaurus.com

noun
a state or condition of mental uncertainty or excitement, as in awaiting a decision or outcome, usually accompanied by a degree of apprehension or anxiety.
a state of mental indecision.
undecided or doubtful condition, as of affairs: For a few days matters hung in suspense.
the state or condition of being suspended.
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Origin of suspense

1375–1425; late Middle English <Medieval Latin suspēnsum deferment, suspension, uncertainty, noun use of neuter of Latin suspēnsus hung up, doubtful, in suspense (past participle of suspendere to hang up, leave undecided), equivalent to sus-sus- + pēnsus (pend-, stem of pendere (translation) to hang (see pend) + -tus past participle suffix, with dt>s)

OTHER WORDS FROM suspense

sus·pense·ful, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2022

How to use suspense in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for suspense

suspense
/ (səˈspɛns) /

noun
the condition of being insecure or uncertainthe matter of the succession remained in suspense for many years
mental uncertainty; anxietytheir father's illness kept them in a state of suspense
excitement felt at the approach of the climaxa play of terrifying suspense
the condition of being suspended

Derived forms of suspense

suspenseful, adjective

Word Origin for suspense

C15: from Medieval Latin suspensum delay, from Latin suspendere to hang up; see suspend
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
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