Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • intransitive verb To cease or suspend an action temporarily.
  • intransitive verb To hesitate.
  • intransitive verb To linger; tarry.
  • intransitive verb To cease or suspend the action of temporarily; stop for an interim.
  • noun A break, stop, or rest, often for a calculated purpose or effect.
  • noun A delay or suspended reaction, as from uncertainty; a hesitation.
  • noun Delay or hesitation.
  • noun Reason for hesitation.
  • noun Music A sign, such as a fermata, indicating that a note or rest is to be held.
  • noun A break or rest in a line of poetry; a caesura.
  • noun A control mechanism on an audio or video player that halts the playing of a recording and permits playing to be easily resumed from the same point.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun A temporary stop or rest; a cessation or intermission of action or motion, as of speaking, singing, or playing.
  • noun A cessation proceeding from doubt or uncertainty; hesitation; suspense.
  • noun A break or rest in writing or speaking.
  • noun In musical notation: A rest, or sign for silence. See rest.
  • noun A fermata or hold, or indicating that a note is to be prolonged at the pleasure of the performer.
  • noun Stopping-place; conclusion; ultimate point.
  • noun In prosody, an interval in a succession of metrical times, corresponding to a time or times in the rhythm, but not represented by any syllable or syllables in the text.
  • noun Synonyms Intermission, Rest, etc. See stop.
  • To make a temporary stop or intermission; cease to speak or act for a time.
  • To wait; tarry; forbear for a time.
  • To stop for consideration or reflection; deliberate: sometimes with upon before the object of consideration or deliberation.
  • To hesitate; hold back; be shy or reluctant.
  • Reflexively, to repose one's self; hence, to stop; cease from action.
  • To dwell; linger: with upon.
  • Synonyms and To stay, delay, tarry.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • transitive verb rare To cause to stop or rest; -- used reflexively.
  • noun A temporary stop or rest; an intermission of action; interruption; suspension; cessation.
  • noun Temporary inaction or waiting; hesitation; suspence; doubt.
  • noun In speaking or reading aloud, a brief arrest or suspension of voice, to indicate the limits and relations of sentences and their parts.
  • noun In writing and printing, a mark indicating the place and nature of an arrest of voice in reading; a punctuation point.
  • noun A break or paragraph in writing.
  • noun (Mus.) A hold. See 4th Hold, 7.
  • intransitive verb To make a short stop; to cease for a time; to intermit speaking or acting; to stop; to wait; to rest.
  • intransitive verb To be intermitted; to cease.
  • intransitive verb To hesitate; to hold back; to delay.
  • intransitive verb rare To stop in order to consider; hence, to consider; to reflect.
  • intransitive verb to deliberate concerning.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • verb transitive, intransitive To interrupt current work and do something else for a moment.
  • noun A short time for relaxing and doing something else.
  • noun Alternative spelling of Pause (“a button that pauses or resumes something”).

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

  • noun a time interval during which there is a temporary cessation of something
  • noun temporary inactivity
  • verb cease an action temporarily
  • verb interrupt temporarily an activity before continuing

Etymologies

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

[From Middle English, pause, from Old French, from Latin pausa, from Greek pausis, from pauein, to stop.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle French pause, from Latin pausa, from Ancient Greek παῦσις

Examples

  • II. i.32 (159,9) [tho 'she pause] To _pause_ is to rest, to be in quiet.

    Notes to Shakespeare — Volume 01: Comedies

  • And, of course, it was just hours after President Bush said that he considered the term pause to be misleading because there was going to be no pause in operations.

    CNN Transcript Apr 10, 2008

  • "I think we're probably on a short term pause to really get the fear and the psychology into the right perspective."

    For Some, Rude End to IPO Dreams

  • Clearly, this term pause, much debated, does not apply to the air war.

    CNN Transcript Mar 30, 2003

  • Goldman Sachs economist Alberto Ramos , noting that the bank's decision to hike rates wasn't unanimous, says the a "near term pause in the rate hike cycle looks increasingly in the cards," although he said the bank still may push the rate a bit higher during the second half of 2011.

    Colombia Lifts Key Bank Rate

  • For a full second we stood in pause — I, with legs spread, and arched and tense, body thrown forward, right arm horizontal and straight out; Fortini, his blade beyond me so far that hilt and hand just rested lightly against my left breast, his body rigid, his eyes open and shining.

    Chapter 11

  • There was no rest, never a moment's pause from the cheerless, heart-breaking battle.

    Trust

  • A semicolon pause is longer than a comma pause and shorter than a period/full stop pause.

    Writer Unboxed » Blog Archive » On Semicolons

  • Maybe there are some true consultant masterminds out there for whom every pause is a dogwhistle to pundits, for whom every turn of phrase is frought with Da Vinci Code-like hidden meaning -- I haven't covered them.

    The Paranoid Style of American Punditry - Swampland - TIME.com

  • A good poet has to have an ear for punctuation, determining what sort of a pause is needed to maintain the meter, and what kind is necessary to make a convoluted sentence clear.

    2008 September « Motivated Grammar

Comments

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  • The possibility of a Huckabee presidency would give many independent voters (and this newspaper) pause. »

    February 11, 2008