verb (used with object)

  1. to hang by attachment to something above: to suspend a chandelier from the ceiling.
  2. to attach so as to allow free movement: to suspend a door on a hinge.
  3. to keep from falling, sinking, forming a deposit, etc., as if by hanging: to suspend solid particles in a liquid.
  4. to hold or keep undetermined; refrain from forming or concluding definitely: to suspend one’s judgment.
  5. to defer or postpone: to suspend sentence on a convicted person.
  6. to cause to cease or bring to a stop or stay, usually for a time: to suspend payment.
  7. to cause to cease for a time from operation or effect, as a law, rule, privilege, service, or the like: to suspend ferry service.
  8. to debar, usually for a limited time, from the exercise of an office or function or the enjoyment of a privilege: The student was suspended from school.
  9. to keep in a mood or feeling of expectation or incompleteness; keep waiting in suspense: Finish the story; don’t suspend us in midair.
  10. Music. to prolong (a note or tone) into the next chord.

verb (used without object)

  1. to come to a stop, usually temporarily; cease from operation for a time.
  2. to stop payment; be unable to meet financial obligations.
  3. to hang or be suspended, as from another object: The chandelier suspends from the ceiling.
  4. to be suspended, as in a liquid, gas, etc.


  1. (tr) to hang from above so as to permit free movement
  2. (tr; passive) to cause to remain floating or hanginga cloud of smoke was suspended over the town
  3. (tr) to render inoperative or cause to cease, esp temporarilyto suspend interest payments
  4. (tr) to hold in abeyance; postpone action onto suspend a decision
  5. (tr) to debar temporarily from privilege, office, etc, as a punishment
  6. (tr) chem to cause (particles) to be held in suspension in a fluid
  7. (tr) music to continue (a note) until the next chord is sounded, with which it usually forms a dissonanceSee suspension (def. 11)
  8. (intr) to cease payment, as from incapacity to meet financial obligations
  9. (tr) obsolete to put or keep in a state of anxiety or wonder
  10. (intr) obsolete to be attached from above

late 13c., “to bar or exclude temporarily from some function or privilege, to cause to cease for a time,” from Old French suspendre, from Latin suspendere “to hang, stop,” from sub “up from under” (see sub-) + pendere “cause to hang, weigh” (see pendant). The literal sense of “to cause to hang by a support from above” is recorded from mid-15c. Suspenders is attested from 1810, American English. Suspended animation first recorded 1795.

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