pause: Meaning and Definition of


Pronunciation: (pôz), [key]
— n., v., paused, paus•ing.
  1. a temporary stop or rest, esp. in speech or action: a short pause after each stroke of the oar.
  2. a cessation of activity because of doubt or uncertainty; a momentary hesitation.
  3. any comparatively brief stop, delay, wait, etc.: I would like to make a pause in my talk and continue after lunch.
  4. a break or rest in speaking or reading to emphasize meaning, grammatical relation, metrical division, etc., or in writing or printing by the use of punctuation.
  5. a break or suspension, as a caesura, in a line of verse.
  6. a fermata.
  7. to cause to hesitate or be unsure, as from surprise or doubt: These frightening statistics give us pause.
  1. to make a brief stop or delay; wait; hesitate: He paused at the edge of the pool for a moment. I'll pause in my lecture so we can all get some coffee.
  2. to dwell or linger (usually fol. by on or upon): to pause upon a particular point.
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.
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