Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • transitive v. To bring or come to an end; stop.
  • n. Cessation.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. The cessation of something or someone.
  • v. To come to an end; to desist.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. Cessation; stop; end.
  • intransitive v. To cease.
  • transitive v. To cause to cease; to end.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To cease; stop; be at an end; leave off; refrain finally.
  • To stop; put an end to; cause to cease.
  • n. Cessation; stop.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a stopping

Etymologies

Middle English surcesen, variant (influenced by cesen, to cease) of sursesen, from Anglo-Norman surseser, from Old French surseoir, sursis-, to refrain, from Latin supersedēre; see supersede.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)

Examples

  • As every outraged nerve in my body cried for alleviation, so my tortured mind shrieked for surcease from the accusing memory of the things I had said and done while under the influence of alcohol.

    Madeleine: An Autobiography

  • The Board of Prison Directors gave me my choice: a prison trustyship and surcease from the jute looms if I gave up the nonexistent dynamite; life imprisonment in solitary if I refused to give up the nonexistent dynamite.

    Chapter 4

  • This occupation is decades long and continues before our very eyes, with no prospect for near-term surcease for the Christian and Muslim Palestinians.

    Palestine Blogs aggregator

  • They doubtless must have thought, hearing the sound of the iron and seeing all at once the light again, that my father had regretted the kind of surcease he had granted them, and that some one came to bring them death.

    Pélléas and Mélisande

  • I bear it so long as I can before my mind reels away to find surcease in blessed darkness.

    Secret History of Elizabeth Tudor, Vampire Slayer

  • ` Surely, 'said I, ` surely this is something novel, boredom's surcease;

    SPECIAL CONTEST ACTIVITY

  • Author Juan Vidal Castillo, who knows his town better than anybody, probably could talk for days about the culture with its foundations in the Church, the conflicts which emptied the town, the drain of youth fleeing toward surcease of poverty or at least to aspire to achievement, of the military revolutions of the past and the tortuous social revolutions of the present.

    Alamos: Still a boom to bust town, but with everlasting charm

  • It eased pain, gave surcease to sorrow, brought back old memories, dead faces, and forgotten dreams.

    A HYPERBOREAN BREW

  • Not, as I now know, that our company was distasteful to him, but because his trouble had so grown that he could not respond to our happiness nor find surcease with us.

    The Minions of Midas

  • Small wonder that, like old Ecclesiastes, he found vanity in all things and surcease in sugar stocks, singing boys, and hula dancers.

    SHIN-BONES

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Comments

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  • "I will not do't;
    Lest I surcease to honour mine own truth,
    And by my body's action teach my mind
    A most inherent baseness."
    - William Shakespeare, 'The Tragedy of Coriolanus'.

    August 28, 2009

  • I love this word.

    September 17, 2008

  • He knew he must bring them surcease of their sorrow, as swiftly as possible, and clear up this painful misunderstanding.

    - William Steig, Zeke Pippin.

    August 11, 2008

  • For some reason, even though this word contains its meaning, I always find myself thinking it means either its opposite -- something that will not abate -- or else that it means "a lack of".

    February 16, 2007

  • From my books surcease of sorrow—sorrow for the lost Lenore

    January 18, 2007