Definition of pause in English:


Line breaks: pause
Pronunciation: /pɔːz


[no object]
  • 1Interrupt action or speech briefly: she paused, at a loss for words
    More example sentences
    • They wandered about a little while, pausing briefly to pull on their boots.
    • He might pause at the office briefly before leaving for the day.
    • She pulled the wrapping paper from the gift, pausing only briefly at the nondescript box.
    stop, cease, halt, discontinue, break off, take a break, take a breath; adjourn, desist, rest, hold back, wait, delay, hesitate, hang back, pull up, mark time, falter, waver
    informal let up, take a breather
  • 1.1 [with object] Temporarily interrupt the operation of (a process or device): she had paused a tape on the VCR
    More example sentences
    • Trying to deal with the embarrassing situation, the reporter had to pause the camera, comfort him and patiently tell him what he needed to say.
    • Fay squealed seconds later, pausing the tape and pointing at the figure on the screen.
    • Users can pause live TV, rewind and set up recordings - all without an advanced degree in VCR technology.


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give pause to someone (or give someone pause for thought)

Cause someone to think carefully or hesitate before doing something: the sight of these gives any would-be attacker pause for thought
More example sentences
  • I completely understand that, and, to be honest, it gives me pause for thought.
  • Now there's something to give you pause for thought.
  • If it doesn't give you pause for thought, even in a world besieged by bad news, you aren't paying attention.


late Middle English: from Old French, from Latin pausa, from Greek pausis, from pausein 'to stop'.

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