- 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.
Origin of suspense
Examples from the Web for suspenses
She depicted the character of her husband, and the whole train of suspenses and inquietudes occasioned by his disappearance.
What perplexities, misunderstandings, and suspenses might not grow out of this uncertainty?
- 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
Word Origin and History for suspenses
c.1400, "not being executed, unfulfilled" (of legal matters), from Anglo-French suspens (in en suspens "in abeyance," c.1300), from Old French suspens "act of suspending," from Latin suspensus, past participle of suspendere (see suspend). Meaning "state of mental uncertainty" (mid-15c.) is from legal meaning of "not rendered, not paid, not carried out" (e.g. suspended sentence). As a genre of novels, stories, etc., attested from 1952.