Definition of suspend in English:

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Pronunciation: /səˈspɛnd/


[with object]
1Temporarily prevent from continuing or being in force or effect: work on the dam was suspended
More example sentences
  • While immediate lay-offs have been temporarily suspended, the crisis continues with thousands of jobs among Rover's suppliers also under threat.
  • The traders have been forced to temporarily suspend trading as they do not want any more clients to fall into this black hole.
  • Recently Ryanair was forced to temporarily suspend services on its Strasbourg / London route.
1.1Officially prohibit (someone) from holding their usual post or carrying out their usual role for a particular length of time: two officers were suspended from duty pending the outcome of the investigation
More example sentences
  • She was suspended from her post in charge of 20 community wardens last summer and her contract was not renewed when it expired in March this year.
  • The Evening Echo has learned he was suspended from his role as governor immediately after he was arrested.
  • Hall was suspended from his post the following day.
exclude, debar, shut out, keep out, remove, eliminate, reject, expel, eject, evict, rusticate
1.2Defer or delay (an action, event, or judgement): the judge suspended judgement until January 15
More example sentences
  • Cannier SME owners will suspend judgement until they see what real changes emerge in the kind of deals their banks are prepared to offer.
  • Refreshments were served and the Ballinrobe Branch has now suspended its weekly meeting until September.
  • I'm suspending this meeting until a later time when I can get everyone's complete attention and input.
adjourn, interrupt, break off, postpone, delay, defer, shelve, arrest, put off, intermit, prorogue, hold over, put aside, pigeonhole, put/hold/keep in abeyance;
cut short, bring to an end, cease, discontinue, dissolve, disband, terminate, call a halt to;
North American  table
informal put on ice, put on the back burner, mothball
North American informal take a rain check on
1.3 Law (Of a judge or court) cause (an imposed sentence) not to be enforced as long as no further offence is committed within a specified period: the sentence was suspended for six months (as adjective suspended) a suspended jail sentence
More example sentences
  • The judge suspended the sentence but the conviction stood.
  • Instead, the judge suspended the 18-month prison sentence for two years.
  • Five years of the sentence was conditionally suspended for five years.
2Hang (something) from somewhere: the light was suspended from the ceiling
More example sentences
  • In some bizarre animator's joke, they were literally suspended, all hung in the air in a big room.
  • The key to the diary was suspended from a silver key chain.
  • At the head of the room, a large screen was suspended from the ceiling and onto it was projected what appeared to be the layout for their graduation.
hang, sling, drape, string, put up;
swing, dangle
3 (be suspended) (Of solid particles) be dispersed throughout the bulk of a fluid: the paste contains collagen suspended in a salt solution
More example sentences
  • This is coupled through solid-fluid interaction rules to the Newtonian rotation and translation of solid particles suspended in the fluid.
  • Latex emulsions are made up of polymeric materials suspended in an aqueous solvent by a surfactant.
  • The mobility of electrons is influenced by cellular metabolism and the concentration of charged particles suspended in body fluid.
4 Music Prolong (a note of a chord) into a following chord, usually so as to produce a temporary discord.



suspend disbelief

Temporarily allow oneself to believe something that is not true, especially in order to enjoy a work of fiction.
Example sentences
  • Feature films invite us to defy reality, believe a fiction, suspend disbelief.
  • Though the older ones might know very well that the characters are just ordinary persons in disguise, they are ready to suspend disbelief and enjoy themselves along with the rest.
  • It's not like superheroes, where an essentially silly subject has a huge cultural resonance allowing an audience to suspend disbelief.

suspend payment

(Of a company) cease to meet its financial obligations as a result of insolvency or insufficient funds.
Example sentences
  • It followed that the debt, evidenced by the receipt, had not matured when the merchant suspended payment.
  • Wracked by civil wars, Mexico suspended payment on its international loans in 1861 and in retaliation a joint Anglo-Spanish-French force seized Vera Cruz.


Middle English: from Old French suspendre or Latin suspendere, from sub- 'from below' + pendere 'hang'.

  • pendant from Middle English:

    This was originally a term for an architectural decoration projecting downwards. It comes from penda(u)nt, an Old French word meaning ‘hanging’, from Latin pendere. The word was used from late Middle English for a jewel attached to clothing but later it was applied to one attached to a necklace. Use of the word for a light fitting hanging from the ceiling dates from the mid 19th century. Pending (mid 17th century) is an anglicization of French pendant. Pendulum (mid 17th century) is taken directly from Latin, as is pendulous (early 17th century). Suspend (Middle English) combined this root with sub- ‘from below’, compensation (Late Middle English) is something that ‘weighs against’ something that has happened, depend (Late Middle English) is ‘hang down’, and recompence (Late Middle English) originally ‘to weigh one thing against another’.

Words that rhyme with suspend

amend, append, apprehend, ascend, attend, befriend, bend, blend, blende, commend, comprehend, condescend, contend, defriend, depend, emend, end, expend, extend, fend, forfend, friend, impend, interdepend, lend, mend, misapprehend, misspend, offend, on-trend, Oostende, Ostend, perpend, portend, rend, reprehend, scrag-end, send, spend, subtend, tail end, tend, transcend, trend, underspend, unfriend, upend, vend, weekend, wend

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: sus|pend

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