Definition of suspense in English:

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Pronunciation: /səˈspɛns/


[mass noun]
1A state or feeling of excited or anxious uncertainty about what may happen: come on, Fran, don’t keep me in suspense!
More example sentences
  • I was sitting in suspense wondering what exactly had happened.
  • The crowd is in suspense, wondering how things will go for the dog.
  • Until then, you'll just have to live in suspense.
eagerly, agog, all agog, with bated breath, on tenterhooks, avid, excited, on edge, open-mouthed, anxious, edgy, jittery, jumpy, keyed up, overwrought, uneasy, worried
informal uptight, waiting for the axe to fall
1.1A quality in a work of fiction that arouses excited expectation or uncertainty about what may happen: a tale of mystery and suspense
More example sentences
  • I let out a heavy sigh and thought hard for a few seconds, unable to register anything except comic books and fiction suspense novels.
  • Even though it's riddled with melodrama, this is still a high quality internal affairs suspense thriller.
  • The mystery of these implicit questions heightens the novel's suspense.
tension, uncertainty, doubt, doubtfulness, anticipation, expectation, expectancy, excitement, anxiety, nervousness, apprehension, apprehensiveness, strain
2chiefly Law The temporary cessation or suspension of something.
Example sentences
  • The Applicant has set in motion an appeal from the disciplinary panel to an appeal panel but that appeal has been put into suspense by reason of his application for judicial review.


Late Middle English: from Old French suspens 'abeyance', based on Latin suspensus 'suspended, hovering, doubtful', past participle of suspendere (see suspend).

Words that rhyme with suspense

cense, commence, common sense, condense, dense, dispense, expense, fence, hence, Hortense, immense, offence (US offense), pence, prepense, pretence (US pretense), sense, spence, tense, thence, whence

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: sus|pense

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