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

  • transitive v. To bar for a period from a privilege, office, or position, usually as a punishment: suspend a student from school.
  • transitive v. To cause to stop for a period; interrupt: suspended the trial.
  • transitive v. To hold in abeyance; defer: suspend judgment. See Synonyms at defer1.
  • transitive v. To render temporarily ineffective: suspend a jail sentence; suspend all parking regulations.
  • transitive v. To hang so as to allow free movement: suspended the mobile from the ceiling.
  • transitive v. To support or keep from falling without apparent attachment, as by buoyancy: suspend oneself in the water.
  • intransitive v. To cease for a period; delay.
  • intransitive v. To fail to make payments or meet obligations.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • v. To halt something temporarily
  • v. To hang freely; underhang
  • v. To bring a solid substance, usually in powder form, into suspension in a liquid
  • v. To discontinue or interrupt a function, task, position, or event.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • intransitive v. To cease from operation or activity; esp., to stop payment, or be unable to meet obligations or engagements (said of a commercial firm or a bank).
  • transitive v. To attach to something above; to hang.
  • transitive v. To make to depend.
  • transitive v. To cause to cease for a time; to hinder from proceeding; to interrupt; to delay; to stay.
  • transitive v. To hold in an undetermined or undecided state.
  • transitive v. To debar, or cause to withdraw temporarily, from any privilege, from the execution of an office, from the enjoyment of income, etc.
  • transitive v. To cause to cease for a time from operation or effect
  • transitive v. To support in a liquid, as an insoluble powder, by stirring, to facilitate chemical action.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To cause to hang; make to depend from anything; hang: as, to suspend a ball by a thread; hence, to hold, or keep from falling or sinking, as if by hanging: as, solid particles suspended in a liquid.
  • To make to depend (on).
  • To cause to cease for a time; hinder from proceeding; interrupt; stay; delay: as, all business was suspended.
  • To hold undetermined; refrain from forming or concluding definitely: as, to suspend one's opinion.
  • To debar, usually for a time, from any privilege, from the execution of an office, or from the enjoyment of income: as, a student suspended for some breach of discipline (rarely, in this use, suspended from college).
  • To cause to cease for a time from operation or effect: as, to suspend the Habeas Corpus Act; to suspend the rules of a deliberative assembly.
  • In music, to hold back or postpone the progression of (a voice-part) while the other parts proceed, usually producing a temporary discord. See suspension, 5.
  • To cease from operation; desist from active employment; specifically, to stop payment, or be unable to meet one's engagements.

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

  • v. make inoperative or stop
  • v. render temporarily ineffective
  • v. hang freely
  • v. bar temporarily; from school, office, etc.
  • v. cause to be held in suspension in a fluid
  • v. stop a process or a habit by imposing a freeze on it


Middle English suspenden, from Old French suspendre, from Latin suspendere : sub-, from below; see sub- + pendere, to hang; see (s)pen- in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)



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