Definition of stop in English:



  • 1[no object] (of an event, action, or process) come to an end; cease to happen.

    ‘his laughter stopped as quickly as it had begun’
    ‘the rain had stopped and the clouds had cleared’
    • ‘Remember, your muscle growth stops when your protein does.’
    • ‘Growth stops, and, as a result, the plant becomes more susceptible to such environmental pressures as drought and high temperature.’
    • ‘Sometimes the recording stops in the middle of sentence: not a problem.’
    • ‘She started to have more energy and the deterioration that the radiotherapy was causing in her mouth stopped.’
    • ‘He was adamant he was going to speak or the meeting would stop.’
    • ‘If she stepped out of her place and broke the formation, the weird ceremony would stop.’
    • ‘When one becomes happy and content, development stops.’
    • ‘Even if the 60 votes are not achieved, debate stops and the Senate proceeds with other business.’
    • ‘If growth has stopped and you need the crop for hay, cut it soon to maintain as much quality as possible.’
    • ‘Most of these outbreaks stop when people get away from the place where the illness started.’
    • ‘If applied to the scalp twice daily, it may produce some hair growth but is expensive and hair growth stops when treatment is stopped.’
    • ‘It is important to note that there may be a window of opportunity for this adaptation to occur before growth stops.’
    • ‘The rain stopped as quickly as it had started and soon the track was dry again.’
    • ‘The anticoagulated blood is then reinfused in the operating theatre during or shortly after surgical blood loss has stopped.’
    • ‘When most of the hydrogen is fused into helium, fusion stops and and gravity again takes over.’
    • ‘Most annual agricultural crops are determinate, and their growth stops once they reach physiological maturity.’
    • ‘If neither person feels that anything is being achieved, she adds, she will suggest that the sessions stop.’
    • ‘The man slumped down and signalled for an inhaler so a medic was called, but the ordeal did not stop there.’
    • ‘It is nothing more than barbaric and the sooner it stops the better.’
    • ‘Then the safety car came out for three laps and the race stopped.’
    come to an end, come to a stop, cease, end, finish, draw to a close, be over, conclude, terminate, come to a standstill
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    1. 1.1[with present participle]Cease to perform a specified action or have a specified experience.
      ‘she stopped giggling’
      [with object] ‘he stopped work for tea’
      • ‘My drink came out of my nose and I had tears rolling down my face by the time I finally managed to stop laughing.’
      • ‘I put down my fork and spoon and quietly stop eating, feeling very foolish.’
      • ‘They should eat only when hungry, eat food they really want, and stop eating when they are full.’
      • ‘Sabbath reminds us that the world will not stop turning if we cease from our labors for a day.’
      • ‘Her hands surround my waist and suddenly she stops kissing my mouth.’
      • ‘The quake was so strong that they were forced to stop talking and to abandon the stall.’
      • ‘After his encounter with this civilization, the time traveller advances further into the future to a time when the Earth stops rotating.’
      • ‘One child was so traumatised by the experience she could not stop vomiting and had to be hospitalised.’
      • ‘When Sophie had managed to stop crying, the pair of them walked back to the building and told the other two over supper what Paz had said.’
      • ‘I'm trying to stay calm but every time I see the adverts on the telly, I can't stop smiling or giggling.’
      • ‘Curious, Alyssa stopped practicing her backstroke and looked at her father.’
      • ‘When I've stopped giggling, I shall resume my search for pet insurance!’
      • ‘Once he stopped coughing she reached an arm over to him to pat him on the back.’
      • ‘Finally, she stops coughing and the masters approach her cautiously.’
      • ‘Evelyn stopped giggling when she saw Julian with a serious look on his face.’
      • ‘Beside me, Lucas had stopped laughing and coughed a few times to clear his throat.’
      • ‘She managed to stop laughing, then her face turned serious and she gazed into his face.’
      • ‘After a moment, he stopped coughing and laid back on the pillows, breathing heavily.’
      • ‘The others managed not to laugh and my girlfriend poked me to make me stop giggling, but that just made it funnier to me.’
      • ‘He'd begun smoking in his teens and had been smoking ever since, apart from a few years when he managed to stop while in the army.’
      cease, discontinue, refrain from, desist from, forbear from, break off, call a halt to, call it a day
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    2. 1.2[with present participle]Abandon a specified practice or habit.
      ‘I've stopped eating meat’
      • ‘Maybe she could manage to stop thinking so much and focus on enjoying the moment.’
      • ‘Some patients will find it hard to cut down or stop drinking because they experience withdrawal symptoms.’
      • ‘Last year, more than half the people who completed the course managed to stop smoking.’
      • ‘If you stop eating carbohydrates, your body will turn protein and fat into glucose.’
      • ‘He's not lazy, they say, he just can't stop eating and his metabolism retains everything.’
      • ‘The best time to stop smoking is when you are ready and when you genuinely want to quit.’
      • ‘With almost religious zeal we are told to stop eating egg yolks and to start taking fish oil supplements.’
      • ‘I doubt that you became allergic to dairy and meats because you stopped eating them.’
      • ‘His wife divorced him because he was too fat, didn't work out and would not stop eating junk food.’
      • ‘The British charity has gone on the offensive to persuade British people to stop eating meat.’
      • ‘Since setting up his own practice he has stopped talking to the media.’
      • ‘Anyway you can't just suddenly stop eating meat like that, it's hard.’
      • ‘She didn't stop performing but her new work didn't get much attention.’
      • ‘It will come back if you gain the weight, stop exercising and eat the wrong foods.’
      • ‘The signs are saying that we need to trim our spending to match our earnings and that we need to stop eating into our savings.’
      • ‘He had stopped hitting me since Jack knocked him out the last time he tried.’
      • ‘At one point I wanted to stop eating meat, but my parents wouldn't let me because you had to eat meat.’
      • ‘It is not enough to simply stop eating meat and compensate by eating more of what you're already eating.’
      • ‘If we stopped encouraging these habits, it might actually save the taxpayer money in the long run.’
      • ‘The mother said her daughter had stopped eating and wasn't sleeping well since the incident.’
    3. 1.3Stop moving or operating.
      ‘he stopped to look at the view’
      ‘my watch has stopped’
      • ‘Dr Conrad headed towards the pavement then stopped abruptly in his tracks, staring.’
      • ‘The party stopped for a little while to eat lunch on the lee side of a large rock.’
      • ‘He could not stop in the rush hour traffic and worried about her for the rest of the day.’
      • ‘He moved on, across the room, and stopped in front of a small leather and metal trunk.’
      • ‘Sudden cardiac death, an abrupt event in which the heart stops, affects one in 100,000 to 300,000 athletes.’
      • ‘Jim's hand stopped halfway to his mouth, holding the bottle there for a moment in limbo.’
      • ‘One other couple along with us danced on the floor because everyone else had stopped to watch.’
      • ‘He said that most residents did not mind the presence of the children, and some stopped to watch them perform their tricks.’
      • ‘You would be cruising along and, suddenly without warning, the engine just stopped.’
      • ‘Early Friday morning, the captain announced that the engine had stopped and the ship was taking on water.’
      • ‘I even think some of the guys at the nearby skate park had stopped to watch.’
      • ‘The problem is, what if the engine stops while he is already on the fast lane of a nearby toll road?’
      • ‘As soon as they reached a safe place to stand, everyone stopped and watched her.’
      • ‘Ryan stood on his tip-toes for a couple of seconds, craning his neck to see why the parade had stopped.’
      • ‘The driver will report the incident to his control room and the train will stop in the tunnel just before the platform at Bank.’
      • ‘Ignition harnesses were prone to succumb to the damp British weather and the failure of the harness would also lead to the engine stopping.’
      • ‘It is a good thing the procession stops at red lights, although with a traffic escort, they could jump red lights.’
      • ‘They had stopped in a relatively small room, unadorned, with just a bed and wardrobe.’
      • ‘Ashley stops, wipes her mouth and looks around.’
      • ‘For morning coffee the coach stopped in Alcester and for lunch at Evesham Country Park.’
    4. 1.4(of a bus or train) call at a designated place to pick up or set down passengers.
      ‘main-line trains stop at platform 7’
      • ‘One of the idiosyncrasies of Manchester travel is that there are two stations that the train stops at - Oxford Road, and Piccadilly.’
      • ‘The train stopped at Haymarket, but continued through South Gyle - I then got worried - because my train stops at South Gyle.’
      • ‘The new buses even stop at designated bus stops, well within the area earmarked for them.’
      • ‘Trains would stop along the way at small stations, for the ladies and gentlemen on board to disembark and take tea.’
      • ‘They raced from stop to stop and kept on schedule by not stopping to pick up passengers.’
      • ‘The train stopped and my girlfriend grabbed me by the arm and led me out of the train.’
      • ‘Passenger trains began stopping at North Parkdale station by January 1883.’
      • ‘The train stopped at Stanford-le-Hope and the guard was approached by two men who were on the platform.’
      • ‘The train stopped and opened its doors wide to let all of its passengers disembark.’
      • ‘The regular train came along, stopped, picked her up and off she went.’
      • ‘The train stops midway through the trip, long enough for passengers to get out and walk into the forest.’
      • ‘Trains did not stop at the station and passengers had to find alternative transport.’
      • ‘The train stopped at Carstairs and we waited for the ambulance.’
      • ‘Quite often you find that you end up leapfrogging buses as they stop to pick up passengers.’
      • ‘It stops in Holguin for the most boring hour of your life.’
      • ‘Currently only a select number of these mail trains stop at these railway stations.’
      • ‘And why did none of them pull the chain, or shout for help when the train stopped at a station en route?’
      • ‘There is no bus-bay and all buses stop at the traffic junction, thus putting the passengers at risk.’
      • ‘However, the train does not stop at Malacca town as it does not have a station.’
      • ‘The train stopped at Xuzhou station and another search was conducted there.’
    5. 1.5British informal Stay somewhere for a short time.
      ‘you'll have to stop the night’
      • ‘The walking party stopped at bed and breakfasts overnight during their gruelling hike.’
  • 2[with object] Cause (an action, process, or event) to come to an end.

    ‘this harassment has got to be stopped’
    • ‘She won an injunction to stop the process and launched her legal bid.’
    • ‘Your client may not be able to stop the process even if they change their mind.’
    • ‘When was a development ever stopped for a protected species?’
    • ‘Many people have had their payments stopped before they began because void notices were issued in error.’
    • ‘Early detection and treatment can often slow or stop the progression of disease.’
    • ‘Diet control can only stop extra fat formation but cannot burn the fat which is already there.’
    • ‘It's a lot harder to stop a ritual process midway than to avoid the process entirely.’
    • ‘The country would have three months to shut its nuclear facilities, or aid could be stopped.’
    • ‘How is she supposed to get any rest if you guys don't stop this racket out here?’
    • ‘A working party which looked at ways to stop accidents along the stretch of road was set up five years ago.’
    • ‘This stops the curing process which is important, otherwise your fish will turn to mush.’
    • ‘There is no obligation to maintain regular payments, which may be stopped and then resumed at any time, without penalty.’
    • ‘The key question is this: Are you just stopping the bleeding, or are you dealing with the root causes?’
    • ‘Therefore, this formula warms the kidneys and warms the spleen, secures the intestines and stops diarrhea.’
    • ‘And so far, the injections have only stopped the degenerative process, not reversed it.’
    • ‘With the season practically over, there was nothing he could do to stop the slide out of Division Three.’
    • ‘They're going to try to do it and I don't think they are going to be capable of stopping the political process.’
    • ‘Fortunately in Australia this process was stopped before it ran its course.’
    • ‘Their aim was to try and stop the social disintegration they believed liberal freedoms had unleashed.’
    • ‘One such case made it into police records unintentionally after neighbors tried to stop a domestic assault out of concern for the family rather than out of anger at the man.’
    put an end to, put a stop to, bring to an end, end, bring to a stop, halt, bring to a halt
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    1. 2.1Prevent (an action or event) from happening.
      ‘a security guard was killed trying to stop a raid’
      • ‘But one year on and still no significant step has been taken to stop another disaster happening.’
      • ‘An ex-forestry worker is taking on his ex-bosses in a bid to stop specimen trees being felled near his home.’
      • ‘Without sounding too unsympathetic, diseases and illnesses are a natural way of stopping the earth becoming too overpopulated.’
      • ‘Many of the treatments focus on promoting cell growth and stopping cell death.’
      • ‘If I was marrying the man I love, nothing, save a tragedy would stop the wedding.’
      • ‘One councillor has even threatened to lie down in front of bulldozers to stop the development if necessary.’
      • ‘It is deeply shocking that the leaders of the council want to stop the event.’
      • ‘The film controls weed growth, stops water evaporating from the soil surface, and in spring it warms the soil, promoting root growth.’
      • ‘But the changes unleashed by the rise of the modern world cannot be stopped.’
      • ‘So far, you have not been able to do anything to stop the events from happening.’
      • ‘Neighbours carried her to a shed and barely managed to stop this being burnt, too.’
      • ‘Face-to-face communication was another key aspect and proved key in stopping a staff walk out.’
      • ‘Traffic regulations are necessary to stop accidents and to keep the city moving.’
      • ‘Organizers said they could still stop the festival if the situation changed.’
      • ‘The measures would stop at least 14,000 tonnes of petrol being released as vapour into the atmosphere each year.’
      • ‘The end result is that the leadership is desperately trying to stop a debate that was never really going to start.’
      • ‘The government could - and probably would - intervene to stop any of the banks going bust.’
      • ‘A crash was only stopped because an abandoned piece of rail was lying near the track, accident investigators heard last week.’
      • ‘The protest has stopped processed sugar leaving the factory and disrupted all administration work.’
      • ‘His ability to stop the opponents' creative play is much needed in a team brimming with playmakers.’
      thwart, baulk, foil, frustrate, stand in the way of, forestall
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    2. 2.2Prevent or dissuade (someone) from continuing in an activity or achieving an aim.
      ‘a campaign is under way to stop the bombers’
      • ‘But he said this would not going to stop him, nor would it prevent him letting his children play in the area.’
      • ‘So do you have any sense what is actually being done to stop him or to limit the impact of his activities?’
      • ‘When you believe in your own possibility and ability, coupled with a strong determination to achieve what you have set out to achieve, not many can succeed at stopping you.’
      • ‘I didn't want to talk to Rachel about why I was stopping her and I didn't want her to continue.’
      • ‘She wasn't in his way, she wasn't blocking him or stopping him, she was just a little girl that had tried to stand up against the big bad wolf.’
      • ‘To have them banning us from the activities we love, on the pretext that stopping us will somehow protect less careful people, is a misuse of power - and one that cannot possibly work.’
      • ‘I couldn't do it last year due to illness but I was determined not to let anything stop me this time.’
      • ‘Margaret is determined to use what influence she has to stop Ken.’
      • ‘But she is certain that the lack of a bike and the fact the she is not a fan of exercise will not stop her.’
      • ‘If you were all to work together, he'd have a difficult time stopping you, and he might even be defeated.’
      • ‘We didn't let that stop us and we continued to court and we were always together.’
      • ‘Mr Crawford has put a padlock on the fuel tank but suspects it won't be enough to stop determined thieves.’
      • ‘I believe in free speech and free expression but these barbaric people are going too far and need to be stopped.’
      • ‘Maddy gave a small laugh as her friend continued to say horrible things about Quentin, before stopping her.’
      • ‘I love flying both types and will continue until someone stops me, but the fact remains that a mistake in a sailplane is much more likely to kill you than in a hang glider.’
      • ‘A cold night for a tryst, but I suppose that never stops anyone who's determined enough.’
      • ‘Several times, she tried to get to Elizabeth, but the two men continually stopped her.’
      • ‘We had a meeting on Sunday night and we are determined this fire is not going to stop us.’
      • ‘And how the hell do you stop someone who's determined to do something like this?’
      • ‘I took one out and was about ready to put it in my mouth, but stopped myself.’
      prevent, hinder, obstruct, impede, block, bar, preclude
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    3. 2.3[with object and present participle]Prevent (someone or something) from performing a specified action or undergoing a specified experience.
      ‘several attempts were made to stop him giving evidence’
      ‘you can't stop me from getting what I want’
      • ‘I manage to stop myself from asking which switch extends those rotating blades that shred the tyres of passing cars.’
      • ‘Last time I didn't even manage to stop myself telling everybody all about it.’
      • ‘To me, a player's value is measured by the extent to which he causes his team to score runs and stops opponents from doing the same.’
      • ‘They want to stop him from using the land as a shark fin drying plant.’
      • ‘Not that that would stop Mr Brown from committing other people's money to his cause.’
      • ‘I know a farmer who has to patrol his fields with a shotgun when the hunt is on to stop the dogs from destroying his fences and going on his land.’
      • ‘I have a habit of stopping myself from crying, I don't know quite why, especially as I am somewhat the spokesperson for free expression.’
      • ‘Sara covered her mouth so she could stop herself from calling out to him and giving away her position.’
      • ‘I hope it stops a family out there going through what we had to go through.’
      • ‘There was no grid at the mouth of the pipe to stop it getting blocked.’
      • ‘The teenager has apologised, and her parents have stopped her going out after 8pm.’
      • ‘I think the Minister is trying very hard to make sure that the penalties are substantial enough to stop the crooks out there from trying to rip off the people who are in fact the least able to look after themselves, and that is very good.’
      • ‘She wouldn't go to school and I couldn't stop her going out at night.’
      • ‘Lynn started to whine, and Teri had to cover her mouth to stop herself from giggling.’
      • ‘I jumped when I realized who it was and had to clamp my hand down over my own mouth to stop myself from screaming.’
      • ‘Following complaints from residents living nearby, the council tried to stop the firm operating out of hours.’
      • ‘She covered her mouth tightly and stopped herself from either agreeing or refusing.’
      • ‘These sulphur particles reflect the sun's energy, and stop the earth from reaching its usual temperatures.’
      • ‘Kiara had to clamp her hand over her mouth in order to stop herself from exploding with laughter.’
      • ‘Fortunately, I managed to stop myself worrying about my worrying, because that's just taking it a bit too far.’
    4. 2.4Cause or order to cease moving or operating.
      ‘he stopped his car by the house’
      ‘police were given powers to stop and search suspects’
      • ‘Everyone believed that police harassment was common, although no one had been stopped and searched.’
      • ‘He was stopped, ordered out of the car and a computer check showed the car had been reported stolen.’
      • ‘Through traffic will be stopped and all parked cars at the side of the High Street have to be moved by 5pm.’
      • ‘Next, the tape can be stopped and replayed to make certain all parties can be heard.’
      • ‘The same group even stopped a young Catholic man on the Cliftonville Road and sternly repeated their warning.’
      • ‘The car had been stopped and turned off, and I was still holding on for dear life.’
      • ‘He harassed the gang's customers, stopping those he found wandering up his block and confronting them.’
      • ‘500 yards from our shop at the roundabout members of the public were blocking the road, stopping people going toward the parkway.’
      • ‘Persons suspected of committing a crime may be stopped and searched.’
      • ‘But there was no mechanical defect which would have caused the car to have been stopped and parked.’
      • ‘On one patrol we were stopped by a former airline worker who wanted to give us information.’
      • ‘They drove through the town trying to force each other off the road before being stopped at a road block.’
      • ‘While we were driving across the grassland to the house, he stopped the truck.’
      • ‘She tried to get upstairs but was stopped and also ordered to get down onto the floor.’
      • ‘In the previous year, they were five times more likely to be stopped and searched.’
      • ‘Reduction of noise, either by stopping the audiotape or the use of earplugs, was associated with improved sleep quality.’
      • ‘He stops the car out front and just leaves it there.’
      • ‘He went up the stairs and was headed for his room when he was stopped by Minako.’
      • ‘At 5.30 one morning a few years ago, Nigel was stopped by a man who demanded money.’
      • ‘Those hoping to visit it are stopped by a granite wall topped with barbed wire.’
      pull up, draw up, come to a stop, come to a halt, come to rest, pull in, pull over
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    5. 2.5informal Be hit by (a bullet).
    6. 2.6Instruct a bank to withhold payment on (a cheque)
      ‘he grew nervous about the deal and asked his bank manager to stop the cheque’
      • ‘The defendant stopped the cheque, which was accordingly dishonoured by the drawee bank.’
      • ‘I was obliged to beg for extra time, stop the cheque, and then to apply for a replacement licence.’
      • ‘This was fine with me, as I intended to stop the cheque anyway, but it was already too late; the moment had passed.’
      • ‘Most banks charge, typically £10, for stopping a cheque.’
      • ‘Don't try and stop the cheque if you want to pay online or over the phone instead.’
      • ‘We also advise you that the post dated cheque for £103,000 has now been stopped.’
      • ‘However the police called me yesterday to alert me and I stopped the cheque on Monday.’
      • ‘We will have this cheque stopped tomorrow.’
    7. 2.7Refuse to supply as usual; withhold or deduct.
      ‘they stopped the strikers' wages’
      withhold, suspend, keep back, hold back, refuse to pay, cut off, discontinue
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    8. 2.8Boxing Defeat (an opponent) by a knockout.
      ‘he was stopped in the sixth by Tyson’
      • ‘Five weeks later he stopped the highly respected Frankie Otero in five rounds.’
      • ‘Ouma did go ahead with the fight, stopping Woods in the 11th round.’
      • ‘He defended the title another three times, stopping his opponents on each occasion, to put himself in line for the WBA world belt.’
      • ‘Jones goes on to make six defenses of the IBF super middleweight title, stopping all six of his opponents.’
      • ‘Jerry proved the experts wrong stopping Spencer in round twelve.’
    9. 2.9Pinch back (a plant).
  • 3[with object] Block or close up (a hole or leak)

    ‘he tried to stop the hole with the heel of his boot’
    ‘the stile has been stopped up’
    • ‘Take the coconut shell and fill with yolk, stopping the hole with your finger.’
    • ‘He is getting the drains right and stopping the leaks in the roof and so on.’
    • ‘Engineers have now secured the hole with wooden boards and an emergency plumber managed to stop the water leak and get the heating back on.’
    • ‘When it is 30 below zero, getting people's heat on is more important than stopping their leaks.’
    • ‘The boat's owner succeeds in stopping the leak.’
    • ‘The leak was stopped 20 minutes later when an inspector switched off the main.’
    • ‘Firemen wearing breathing gear stopped the leak and an engineer was called to repair a broken seal.’
    • ‘The amount of work required to stop a leak depends on the complexity of the problem.’
    • ‘The council is taking action to stop a leak in Hollies Road.’
    • ‘A spokesman said it had to wait for the gas leak to be stopped before work could begin on restoring the electricity supply.’
    • ‘That's an appropriate piece of stout paper to stop the leak in the wastepipe.’
    • ‘It is too late to stop the leak when the vessel is in the midst of river.’
    1. 3.1British dated Put a filling in (a tooth).
    2. 3.2Block the mouth of (a fox's earth) prior to a hunt.
      • ‘Where earths have been stopped they are required by the rules to be opened up again at the end of the day's hunting.’
    3. 3.3Plug the upper end of (an organ pipe), giving a note an octave lower.
    4. 3.4Obtain the required pitch from (the string of a violin or similar instrument) by pressing at the appropriate point with the finger.
      • ‘All three were normally diatonic only, though players could raise the pitch by a semitone by stopping a string near the neck.’
      • ‘When a musician plays a string stopped exactly half-way along its length an octave is produced.’
    5. 3.5Make (a rope) fast with a stopper.
  • 4West Indian [no object] Be or behave in a particular way.

    ‘‘Why was she so?’ ‘I don't know, you know how dem old people stop.’’
    1. 4.1[with complement]Remain in a particular state or condition.
      ‘he said I mustn't stop barefooted, so I had to buy a pair of new shoes’


  • 1A cessation of movement or operation.

    ‘all business came to a stop’
    ‘there were constant stops and changes of pace’
    • ‘He came to a stop outside a large metal door and punched in a few keys on the panel to his right.’
    • ‘The shooting had almost come to a stop by the time they dropped into a reserve trench.’
    • ‘We finally came to a stop at a farmhouse deep in the countryside.’
    • ‘There wasn't time for fear but I was certainly frightened when the car came to a stop.’
    • ‘The game we'd been playing with the boys came to a stop, and I rolled my eyes.’
    • ‘Playing the music without bars gives a free-flowing rhythm, devoid of jarring stops and starts.’
    • ‘It was almost a disappointment when we came to a stop at the edge of clearing where a herd of deer were grazing.’
    • ‘After completing a number of revolutions, the carousel began to slow and came to a stop.’
    • ‘Lizards, therefore, progress in short rushes with frequent stops to breathe.’
    • ‘His pen came to a stop and he stared down at the scrawled words with a shake of his head.’
    • ‘Pauses, stops, and breaks will help the film, which never develops any real momentum.’
    • ‘The front seat passenger opened the side door of the van and the van came to a stop.’
    • ‘Finally, the nurse came to a stop and entered a small room with pink walls and a simple layout.’
    • ‘It was an interminable journey of stops and starts.’
    • ‘The elevator came to a stop at the top floor and Anna turned to face the doors as they creaked open.’
    • ‘Officers are not only setting up static sites for stopping drivers, but are also conducting random stops in rural villages around the county.’
    • ‘Also, rough sea conditions can make safety stops hazardous.’
    • ‘The misery machine rumbled into one of the angled parking spots next to the park and came to a stop.’
    • ‘Several of the attackers came to a stop, and their soldiers began to fire.’
    • ‘A large metal tub filled with sachets of water and cold drinks provided welcome respite, and many of the emergency workers made frequent stops to prevent dehydration.’
    halt, end, finish, close, standstill
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1A break or halt during a journey.
      ‘allow an hour or so for driving and as long as you like for stops’
      ‘the flight landed for a refuelling stop’
      • ‘The pair plan to make a short fuel stop today in Narsarsuaq, Greenland, before flying straight to Iceland.’
      • ‘The 400 mile round trip was broken up with a stop at Stonehenge for an ice-cream.’
      • ‘We always have to make frequent stops so that M can take a loo break and stretch his legs for a while.’
      • ‘On the return journey a stop was made at Phimai to explore the wonderful ruins.’
      • ‘The trip was part of a two day visit to the region, which also included a stop in Honduras.’
      • ‘A short photo stop soon cooled us down, before we pushed on up the hill carrying the weighty bags of tackle and camera gear.’
      • ‘On the return journey a stop was made in Bourton-on-the-Water in brilliant sunshine.’
      • ‘From today until Friday Charles, Prince of Wales, is in Italy with stops in Florence, Rome and Naples.’
      • ‘As the self-confessed ‘biggest slob in the world’ he enjoys sailing holidays filled with impromptu tea breaks and pub stops.’
      • ‘Also, make stops for bathroom breaks, leg-stretching, sightseeing and drink refills.’
      • ‘We were an express train now, and made only a few stops, mostly using the center of the three tracks.’
      • ‘It also suggests that dogs should drink plenty of water during a long journey, and have regular stops for fresh air.’
      • ‘We had 3 stops on the journey and took it in turns to drive.’
      • ‘Thompson expects to travel to each region of Nunavut, including campaign stops in Cambridge Bay and Iqaluit.’
      • ‘Moving swiftly on from Lizard Point the next stop was a quick look at St Michael's Mount.’
      • ‘They will run through France on quiet country roads with overnight stops and after a rest on the ferry they will head to London.’
      • ‘These are not tour buses, so expect numerous stops to pick up and drop off passengers.’
      • ‘Before the homeward journey, a final stop for refreshments was made at Kinvarra.’
      • ‘When traveling long distances, plan the trip to include rest stops and breaks.’
      • ‘At each lunch stop he also produced dried fruits, nuts and yet more chocolate he had carried for us.’
      break, stopover, stop-off, stay, rest
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    2. 1.2A place designated for a bus or train to halt and pick up or set down passengers.
      ‘the bus was pulling up at her stop’
      • ‘Buses could also pick up passengers without pulling into stops.’
      • ‘In order to make up time a train missed out some stops.’
      • ‘You really do not want two stops close together.’
      • ‘Passengers will be set down on request at all recognised stops along the route.’
      • ‘He said a bus had pulled up at the stop laden with passengers.’
      • ‘There are no bus or train stops anywhere near it.’
      • ‘At the moment we're standing at the stop saying if the bus works, we'll get on it.’
      • ‘In Andhra Pradesh, the train has stops only at Secunderabad, Visakhapatnam and Tirupati.’
      • ‘Notice of the shuttle bus should have been on the signs at affected rail stops, she said.’
      • ‘Fewer stops surely means fewer passengers, therefore lower financial performance.’
      • ‘When we started once again the train maintained optimum speed until the next stop.’
      • ‘The bus goes off on its merry way and picks up a zillion passengers at the next stop.’
      • ‘Designated stops will be constructed, with special ramps to allow easy access by passengers onto the taxis and buses.’
      • ‘The system will be one tram short when the stop opens so they are having to bring a tram over from Cologne especially.’
      • ‘This morning, however, a bus was sitting at the stop in Moor Street with the number 850 on the front.’
      • ‘There were no designated stops which meant people could get off anywhere.’
      • ‘But, even now, free shuttles cross the city's ring road to pick up customers from the nearest metro stops.’
      • ‘Why not try getting off the bus or train a stop early and walking the rest of the way.’
      • ‘I was on the bus the other day, and the bus was drawing towards my stop so I was standing by the door waiting to get off.’
      • ‘The stops it skips are covered by an earlier train, 426, which terminates in Baltimore.’
      bus stop, stopping place, halt
      View synonyms
    3. 1.3An object or part of a mechanism which is used to prevent something from moving.
      ‘the shelves have special stops to prevent them from being pulled out too far’
    4. 1.4British dated A punctuation mark, especially a full stop.
      full stop, full point, point
      View synonyms
    5. 1.5Used in telegrams to indicate a full stop.
    6. 1.6Phonetics A consonant produced with complete closure of the vocal tract.
      ‘a bilabial stop’
      [as modifier] ‘stop consonants’
      • ‘Taiwanese has final consonant stops, and Mandarin doesn't.’
      • ‘Many varieties of Chinese, including both Mandarin and Cantonese, do not distinguish voiced and voiceless stops and affricates.’
      • ‘For example, the aspirated series of stops and affricates are written by adding a horizontal stroke to the letters for the plain series.’
    7. 1.7Bridge A high card that prevents the opponents from establishing a particular suit; a control.
      ‘if West bids 3♥ now, this will show a heart stop’
    8. 1.8Nautical A short length of rope used to secure something; a stopper.
  • 2A set of organ pipes of a particular tone and range of pitch.

    1. 2.1A knob, lever, or similar device in an organ or harpsichord which brings into play a set of pipes or strings of a particular tone and range of pitch.
      • ‘These organs were played only with sliding stops, not a keyboard like a modern organ.’
      • ‘Specific ranks of pipes may be brought into and out of play by means of stops.’
      • ‘It also has a cathedral housing the biggest organ in the world: 17,388 pipes and 231 stops.’
  • 3Photography
    The effective diameter of a lens.

    1. 3.1A device for reducing the effective diameter of a lens.
    2. 3.2A unit of change of relative aperture or exposure (with a reduction of one stop equivalent to halving it).
      • ‘When you go through the finished prints you will be able to see the results of 2 complete stops of exposure difference.’
      • ‘If you are using print film, you will probably never see a difference in bracketed shots, unless you have bracketed by 3 stops or more.’
      • ‘Remove the film, stop down 4 stops, and give a flash exposure.’
      • ‘Underexposing by one to two stops intensifies the effect.’
      • ‘You will find these readings are roughly two stops more light than the camera ‘thinks’ they should be.’


  • pull out all the stops

    • 1Make a very great effort to achieve something.

      ‘we pulled out all the stops to meet the deadline’
      • ‘The manufacturers are pulling out all the stops to get it completed as soon as possible.’
      • ‘We are pulling out all the stops on this investigation and bringing in extra officers.’
      • ‘However, he is fearful that the new clause may be delayed, unless the Department of Health pulls out all the stops to make sure the new legislation is written in time.’
      • ‘We are now pulling out all the stops to reduce as far as possible the actual number of job losses.’
      • ‘But while the government is pulling out all the stops to promote parental involvement in their children's education, it clearly does not intend to hand over responsibility wholesale.’
      • ‘It is a very serious offence and we are pulling out all the stops to trace them.’
      • ‘We also have the Britain in Bloom judging next week and then the Summer Festival, so we are pulling out all the stops to get this resolved.’
      • ‘But when it counts, he really pulls out all the stops and that is why we have done so well.’
      • ‘People are pulling out all the stops, and though there are several hurdles still to cross, it is all looking very positive.’
      • ‘I tend to think Duncan probably pulls out all the stops to help small business people.’
      make an effort, exert oneself, try hard, strive, endeavour, apply oneself, do one's best, do all one can, do one's utmost, give one's all, make every effort, spare no effort, be at pains, put oneself out
      struggle, labour, toil, strain, push oneself, drive oneself, work hard, work like a trojan
      cudgel one's brains, rack one's brains
      give it one's best shot, go all out, bend over backwards, lean over backwards, put one's back into it, knock oneself out, do one's damnedest, move heaven and earth, beaver away, slog away, keep one's nose to the grindstone, work one's socks off, break sweat
      do one's darnedest, do one's durnedest, bust one's chops
      go for the doctor
      View synonyms
      1. 1.1Do something very elaborately or on a grand scale.
        ‘they gave a Christmas party and pulled out all the stops’
        • ‘With one glance at the palace interior, he could tell that the Oscillians had pulled out all the stops for this grand gala evening.’
        • ‘Elephant is definitely their defining moment: crashing rock that pulls out all the stops.’
        • ‘Harrogate Cricket Club will be pulling out all the stops on June 21 when Yorkshire play their first match on the St George's Road ground for three years.’
        • ‘Getting a PhD is always a good thing, and Cambridge certainly pulls out all the stops when it comes to bizarre commemorative rituals, including value added Latin declamations.’
        • ‘To survive in a climate of higher interest rates, soaring fuel costs, rising inflation and lower consumer confidence, Britain's mid-market clothing retailers are pulling out all the stops.’
        • ‘Gloucestershire pulled all the stops out for the Jubilee weekend and it looks like they'll do it again on Monday.’
  • put a stop to

    • Cause to end.

      ‘she would have to put a stop to all this nonsense’
      • ‘They've just given them a bad name and I'm just trying to put a stop to all that.’
      • ‘I don't often cheer the EU on, but in this case I hope they put a stop to what I think is a bad move.’
      • ‘Now they want to see new faces, less talent, and if I was a TV executive I'd put a stop to that.’
      • ‘He, in turn, gets engaged to a society girl, but Lucy puts a stop to that by pretending to be his low-class alcoholic sister.’
      • ‘It would negate the need to build these inefficient wind farms and put a stop to the despoiling of Scotland's landscapes!’
      • ‘The collapse of communism put a stop to all that nonsense, but it does not mean that peace has returned to the region.’
      • ‘The efforts to exclude reporters and exit pollers from the polls, they put a stop to that.’
      • ‘I had a couple of sparkling whites before putting a stop to that and I'm glad I did.’
      • ‘Children going to teen discos were drinking on the buses and it should be easy enough to put a stop to that.’
      • ‘If the law doesn't already contain means - effective means - of putting a stop to that, then it needs to be changed.’
      bring to an end, halt, put an end to, end, bring to a stop, bring to a halt
      finish, bring to a close, terminate, bring to a standstill, wind up, discontinue, nip in the bud, put a lid on, put the lid on
      quell, quash, subdue, suppress, stifle
      put paid to, put the kibosh on, put the stopper on, do for
      View synonyms
  • stop at nothing

    • Be utterly ruthless or determined in one's attempt to achieve something.

      ‘he would stop at nothing to retain his power’
      • ‘And we know to a certainty that this is the regime that will stop at nothing to accomplish its irrational goals.’
      • ‘The competing elite factions are engaged in a bitter struggle to gain control of the state apparatus and will stop at nothing to achieve their ends.’
      • ‘In those times the leaders of the clan were cruel and stopped at nothing to gain their ends.’
      • ‘We are faced with a deadly and determined adversary who will stop at nothing and will persevere as long as he exists.’
      • ‘The absolutist, Joseph II, who succeeded Maria Theresa, failed in his reforms, though he stopped at nothing in his attempts to carry them out.’
      • ‘No matter how thin the anorexic gets, she sees herself as fat and stops at nothing to get thinner.’
      • ‘They will stop at nothing and use any means possible to get what they want, regardless of whether this includes losing homes, business etc.’
      • ‘Faulkner is a young, ambitious, ruthless woman who will stop at nothing in order to secure a lofty management job.’
      • ‘Utterly determined to repair the Union, Lincoln would stop at nothing to achieve his aim.’
      • ‘Already some commentators are calling for justice to be ‘tilted’ to protect the innocent from butchers who will stop at nothing.’
      persevere, continue, carry on, go on, keep at it, keep on, keep going, keep it up, not give up, be persistent, be determined, follow something through, see something through, show determination, press ahead, press on, plod on, plough on, stay with something, not take no for an answer
      View synonyms
  • stop dead

    • Stop (or cause to stop) suddenly or abruptly.

      ‘Rob stopped dead and turned to face me’
      ‘the sight stopped him dead in his tracks’
      stop dead, stop in one's tracks, stop, stand still, stand stock still, go rigid, become motionless, become paralysed
      View synonyms
  • stop short

    • Stop (or cause to stop) suddenly or abruptly.

      ‘she began to speak, but stopped short at the look on the other woman's face’
      ‘I was about to reply with a sarcastic remark when a thought stopped me short’
      • ‘She looked like she might have a hangover, but she stopped short at the sight of Faith.’
      • ‘She stopped short at the sight of Tyler and a smile spread across her lips.’
      • ‘Casey stopped short at the sight of the other five training agents, staring at her with questions.’
    • see short
      • ‘I stop dead in my tracks, suddenly needing to hear his answer.’
      • ‘Quick as a flash, the man jumps out of bed, rushes to the window and suddenly stops dead.’
      • ‘Forty miles out of town, the highway stops dead.’
      • ‘James runs into our house towards me, and suddenly stops dead, his face inches from mine.’
      • ‘This is the familiar stop-go traffic wave; where traffic stops dead for something like five seconds, then takes off again.’
      • ‘A mouse runs up the side of a sack like a clockwork toy, then suddenly stops dead and watches me with his little eyes like tiny jet beads.’
      • ‘I was running along the towpath from Richmond to Twickenham and I suddenly stopped dead.’
      • ‘Michael suddenly stopped dead in his tracks and looked has if he was about to faint.’
      • ‘We stop dead as we step into the cold of the night, sending the torpid air swirling visibly outward, the smell of coffee and log fire in tow.’
      • ‘He suddenly stopped dead in his tracks with an extremely amused look on his face.’
  • stop one's ears

    • Put one's fingers in one's ears to avoid hearing something.

      ‘I stopped my ears but I still heard her cry’
      • ‘Nevertheless, when that outlandish bird, attacked by the cat, shrieked for help in human accents, she ran out into the yard stopping her ears, and did not prevent the crime.’
      • ‘As I listened to Burk and the gruesome passages from the letters he could apparently quote from memory, I struggled against an inner shudder, a shiver somewhere between disgust and horror, against the reflex to stop my ears.’
      • ‘The tales of rape, humiliation, physical and mental torture pour out until you want to cover your eyes and stop your ears.’
      • ‘When my open-minded father learned Spanish, I stopped my ears when he played his language tapes and repeated perro 20 times.’
  • stop someone's mouth

    • Induce someone to keep silent about something.

      ‘even if the correspondent wanted to reveal the truth, patriotism as well as censorship would stop his mouth’
  • stop payment

    • Instruct a bank to withhold payment on a cheque.

      ‘the cheque has been certified, so you can't stop payment’
      • ‘He said he spoke to the bank though, and that they can't do anything - stop payment or issue another - without his receipt.’
      • ‘Unlike regular cheques, you can't call the bank to stop payment.’
      • ‘Later the purchaser decided not to proceed with the transaction and told his bank to stop payment of the cheque.’
      • ‘It is said that the plaintiff company had stopped payment on those cheques and that the Bank failed to honour the order of the customer.’
      • ‘I told the bank to stop payment on any checks and forked over cash to my pal.’
      • ‘The plaintiff stopped payment on the postdated cheque and advised Ms. Fusco that the $3,000 would be paid when the store was ready for occupancy.’
      • ‘After the robbers took it, he immediately called the guy he'd beaten and begged him to stop payment on the check and issue a new one.’
      • ‘Premier then, quite understandably, stopped payment on the cheque as the battled unfolded.’
      • ‘You can not stop payment on a cheque or otherwise withhold rent money from them.’
      • ‘Well, I wish the banks were open so I could stop payment on all the employees bonus checks…’
  • stop the show

    • (of a performer) provoke prolonged applause or laughter, causing an interruption.

      ‘Diane stopped the show with her rendition of ‘You Made Me Love You’’
      • ‘There are no arias or set-pieces in Semyon Kotko - there is little here to stop the show.’
      • ‘The tiny songbird scooped up six Latin Music Awards and stopped the show with a sizzling performance.’
      • ‘But by the time friends dared him to take the floor at an amateur night in 1969, this very reluctant performer had honed his skills to such a level that the three songs he played stopped the show.’
      • ‘‘Out of my mother's womb, I knew I was going to be some kind of performer,’ says Andre, who stops the show every night with his rendition of the tune in the mega-hit Broadway musical.’
      • ‘Danieley and Mazzie stopped the show with ‘Almost Like Being in Love’ and it was one of those thrilling moments when the audience is clapping its fool head off, thanking the actors for an unexpected tingle.’
      • ‘She stops the show in a rousing rendition of ‘Diamonds Are a Girl's Best Friend.’’
      • ‘Clark stops the show with a passionately funny monologue describing the bickering among the women in his life.’
      • ‘The aforementioned Matthews, her lovely voice swelling with emotion, is the only singer who actually stops the show in this production.’
      • ‘She totally nailed her New York accents and stopped the show with ‘Come to Your Senses.’’
      • ‘Anyway, the number was genius, totally stopping the show, and I was a little misty right through the end of the show.’

Phrasal Verbs

  • stop by (or in)

    • Call briefly and informally as a visitor.

      ‘a nurse stopped by her room to see if she was asleep’
      ‘would you mind if I stopped by this morning?’
      ‘she stopped in for a cup of tea’
      • ‘He stops by regularly to visit anyone who welcomes him, sometimes even when they don't!’
      • ‘The past few days, this old lady down the road had been bringing me food, so I figured she was stopping by again to drop off a meal.’
      • ‘One can only wonder what conversation is like around the dinner table in their household when Mary stops by for a visit.’
      • ‘He dressed quickly for school and figured Alice had slept in so he stopped by the guest room.’
      • ‘Doug said he would stop by in the morning before his shift, to see how she was doing.’
      • ‘Our Beijing guide Max arranged for us to stop in and visit a hutong family and drink a cup of tea with them.’
      • ‘I think there's a home health nurse who stops by to see him daily.’
      • ‘Matt had called her to tell her that he was going to stop by and drop off a demo track for her to critique.’
      • ‘He promised he'd call more often and told me I could stop by to visit and see Jeffery whenever I was free.’
      • ‘In his four years of high school he never passed up a chance to stop in my room for a game or two.’
  • stop something down

    • Reduce the aperture of a lens with a diaphragm.

  • stop off (or over)

    • Pay a short visit en route to one's ultimate destination.

      ‘I stopped off to visit him and his wife’
      • ‘You can stop off at several points en route for a longer visit with your animals of choice.’
      • ‘We travelled very slowly from the East Coast, stopping off at motels or staying with friends of friends along the way, and ended up in San Francisco.’
      • ‘The judgement showed that they failed to convince the appeal judges that they had the means to travel around the world, stopping off in various cities en route to Colombia.’
      • ‘It sounds more exciting than it actually is, but it means I'll get to stop over and visit friends and family.’
      • ‘Many racegoers from the Emerald Isle are expected to stop off en route to Cheltenham in a bid to increase their cash reserves.’
      • ‘The restored 19th-century Irish emigrant sailing ship, a replica of one of the last of its kind before the steamship era, got a huge welcome when it visited Dingle and stopped over for three days.’
      • ‘We stopped off at Humansdorp at St Francis Bay, where we visited a cousin of Jono's.’
      • ‘Sheriff Hutton is a lovely village and The Castle is an ideal place to stop off if you are visiting the area.’
      • ‘The family stopped off for a short holiday in Hawaii on the way home.’
      • ‘I haven't seen them half as much as I would have liked but I hope to stop off for a quick visit when M and I go for our annual jaunt up to Scotland.’
      break one's journey, take a break, pause
      stay, remain, put up, lodge, rest
      View synonyms
  • stop out

    • 1Stay out, especially longer or later than might be expected.

      ‘it was the only evening for weeks that we stopped out’
      • ‘Now they are 'big boys' and can stop out late!’
      • ‘I, for one, won't be stopping out after dark.’
      • ‘Oh, she had little enough to say to him when he was there - but if he stopped out overnight he was greeted with tight-lipped glares and an awkward silence.’
      • ‘They get to feel responsible for the ones they stop out with or the ones they drink with or play cards with.’
      • ‘Stay on task, but be sure to stop out once in a while.’
      • ‘She has also taken to stopping out at night with her boyfriend - a school non-attender.’
      • ‘"'Tis gettin' late," he observed aloud; "an' maybe if you stopped out any longer Norah might be frettin'."’
    • 2Withdraw temporarily from higher education or employment in order to pursue another activity.

      ‘community college students are more likely to stop out, or drop out entirely, when the cost of attending increases’
      • ‘Readmits - These students were once at the college but stopped out, dropped out, or were academically dismissed.’
      • ‘For many high-powered women who put former in front of their titles to stop out and stay at home with their kids, selling stuff online often starts as a dalliance, a means of purging closets of never-worn mistakes.’
      • ‘They generally are older, drop out or stop out at higher rates, take longer to complete their degrees, and often are married with children.’
      • ‘More female high achievers are "stopping out" to raise kids - and avoiding Corporate America when they return.’
      • ‘In addition to a large number of students who will become part-time students during their time in college, there are also large numbers of UIC students who will stop out for one or more terms during their career and who will change their majors.’
      • ‘Single until recently, she had three kids and "stopped out" - taking no classes seven of those years.’
      • ‘About one in every six freshmen will stop out before finishing their program.’
      • ‘These students often "stop out" when they meet financial difficulties.’
  • stop something out

    • Cover an area that is not to be printed or etched when making a print or etching.

  • stop up

    • Refrain from going to bed; stay up.

      ‘you used to let us stop up to watch the programme’
      • ‘We stopped up playing board games, listening to music and generally chatting until about 3:30.’
      • ‘Many also have a junk-food diet which does their health no good, are allowed to stop up all hours and have totally inadequate parents.’
      • ‘We stopped up until four or so, doing the tequila thing and having, like, deep and important conversations about life and love and that.’


Old English (for)stoppian ‘block up (an aperture)’, of West Germanic origin; related to German stopfen, from late Latin stuppare to stuff.