Definition of pause in English:

pause

verb

[NO OBJECT]
  • 1 Interrupt action or speech briefly.

    ‘she paused, at a loss for words’
    • ‘Her dark blue eyes made him pause a second longer.’
    • ‘I pause, waiting to see if he's still with me, if he has understood.’
    • ‘They wandered about a little while, pausing briefly to pull on their boots.’
    • ‘She winked at him and left the living room, pausing briefly to readjust the shawl one more time.’
    • ‘The guy paused in his speech, mentally marking the place he was up to and pondered the question for a moment.’
    • ‘I pause, watching as he extracts a beer bottle from inside the fridge.’
    • ‘He might pause at the office briefly before leaving for the day.’
    • ‘At midday, buses will pull to the side of the road, black cabs will stop and people will pause in their daily routine.’
    • ‘The guy pauses a moment, then grants that this proposition seems doubtful.’
    • ‘I pause, watching as she gazes forlornly out the window.’
    • ‘They discovered that men are almost twice a likely as women to pause or hesitate when talking.’
    • ‘He pauses to watch a truck pass through a gate, then continues, almost conspiratorially.’
    • ‘She continued her speech after pausing to look me up and down with disgust.’
    • ‘Walking down his driveway, he pauses briefly to wave goodbye to the couple.’
    • ‘Outside his headquarters I paused to rest for a moment on one of the benches.’
    • ‘Amy and Carrie paused their aimless conversation to look at me, incredulously.’
    • ‘He took a step closer to her, pausing briefly to see if she would move away.’
    • ‘He headed straight for his kettle and teapot, not even pausing as he pulled off his hat and mask and tossed them on the couch.’
    • ‘They moved like this for a long time, pausing every so often to monitor their surroundings.’
    • ‘She pulled the wrapping paper from the gift, pausing only briefly at the nondescript box.’
    stop, cease, halt, discontinue, break off, take a break, take a breath
    adjourn, desist, rest, hold back, wait, delay, hesitate, hang back, pull up, mark time, falter, waver
    let up, take a breather
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1[with object]Temporarily interrupt the operation of (a videotape, audiotape, or computer program)
      ‘she had paused a tape on the VCR’
      • ‘Trying to deal with the embarrassing situation, the reporter had to pause the camera, comfort him and patiently tell him what he needed to say.’
      • ‘The system allows viewers to watch, fast-forward, rewind and pause digital movies.’
      • ‘It will reconnect at any time; pause it, quit it, turn the computer off, you can start the download again and it's fine.’
      • ‘Fay squealed seconds later, pausing the tape and pointing at the figure on the screen.’
      • ‘I laughed at his silliness, asked Holly to pause the movie for a second, and got up to go out to the kitchen.’
      • ‘I get to pause video to have arguments with friends whether a foot was in bounds or not, and I can watch a great touchdown pass as many times as I want.’
      • ‘For example, you can pause your favourite television programme while you grab a snack or go to the toilet.’
      • ‘She can then fast forward, rewind and pause it at any time over the next 24 hours.’
      • ‘A remote control is a terrible thing: we can pause the film to make a cup of tea, fast forward boring bits, and rewind scenes that we weren't really paying attention to.’
      • ‘It also offers functions like those found on TiVo, like pausing live action.’
      • ‘Better still, you will be able to pause the download operation, disconnect, make a phone call and then resume.’
      • ‘One additional feature of these devices is the ability to pause normal TV shows.’
      • ‘TiVo wowed most observers with its ability to pause live television.’
      • ‘He pulled one head phone out of his ear and pressed another button on the contraption to pause the music.’
      • ‘You can pause live television programmes and then go back to where you left off when you press play.’
      • ‘Hunter suddenly got the feeling that he knew her, so thanks to modern technology, he was able to pause the television on the shot of the woman.’
      • ‘There are occasional compression artifacts: if you pause the image, you may see vertical bands of pixels.’
      • ‘He would pause the tape when this occurred, and then record what was said in his notebook.’
      • ‘Users can pause live TV, rewind and set up recordings - all without an advanced degree in VCR technology.’
      • ‘I got nothing else to say on his answer, because I'd have to pause the tape again until I stop laughing.’

noun

  • 1A temporary stop in action or speech.

    ‘she dropped me outside during a brief pause in the rain’
    ‘the admiral chattered away without pause’
    • ‘Without pause, he grabbed the tree branch and pulled himself up into the hollow of the tree.’
    • ‘This is a really bad way of dividing up the available airwaves because it means that the spaces and pauses in speech get the same priority as the words.’
    • ‘I heard the shower stop, a brief pause, then the whirr of an electric toothbrush started up.’
    • ‘She stopped pacing, her pause leaving her gazing out the window.’
    • ‘From time to time, he stopped and, after a brief pause, continued his barbed tirade against the desecrators of the Sabbath.’
    • ‘After a brief pause, he said ‘Sorry, mate, but there's a dress code.’’
    • ‘There will be a brief pause while I gather my outrage.’
    • ‘I could not understand why a performance with no scenery changes should require anything but the briefest of pauses between items.’
    • ‘And there is a pause in your speech, but I can tell you would still like to say more.’
    • ‘After a brief pause for judging, it will continue on to the community centre where refreshments for all participants will be served.’
    • ‘It's a text without spacing, a speech without pause for breath.’
    • ‘I keep seeing clips of him addressing audiences a few years ago and he didn't have the awkward pauses in his speech.’
    • ‘At first, you could see that the wrestlers were playing along with the crowd, deliberately leaving pauses during their speeches.’
    • ‘After a brief pause, Felix returns to the phone and the line starts ringing.’
    • ‘He also used speech pauses effectively to drive home his messages.’
    • ‘Without pause, he rode towards them and ordered them to take down a section of fence.’
    • ‘After a brief pause, it stopped momentarily on another tree.’
    • ‘Cues pertaining to verbal qualities included such features as pitch of voice, details of story, pauses in speech, and laughing.’
    • ‘They often required careful, unnatural speech, with pauses after every word, and their transcription error rate was unacceptably high.’
    • ‘The tension in the group was evident through the pregnant pause in speech.’
    stop, cessation, break, halt, stoppage, standstill, interruption, check, lull, respite, stay, breathing space, discontinuation, discontinuance, hiatus, gap, interlude, intermission, interval, entr'acte
    adjournment, suspension, moratorium, interregnum
    rest, time out, stopover, delay, hold-up, wait
    hesitation, beat, caesura
    let-up, breather
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1Music
      A mark over a note or rest that is to be lengthened by an unspecified amount; a fermata.
      • ‘There are a few pauses in the Allegro moderato and the final movement is quite thrilling in its peroration.’
      • ‘Top it off with arrhythmic choruses drenched in vocoder effects and music pauses, and you have the blueprint for the entire album.’
      • ‘In the 5th Symphony he dispenses with the pause before the finale.’
    2. 1.2A control allowing the temporary interruption of an electronic (or mechanical) process, especially video or audio recording or reproduction.
      • ‘It was as if someone hit the pause button; they knew we were here.’
      • ‘She hit the pause button on the music and opened the door.’
      • ‘Press the pause button, take a leak, come back and continue watching from where you left off.’
      • ‘The same effect could be achieved by using the pause button on a DVD player.’
      • ‘Cast and crew biographies are inconsequential for those with Internet access, and the still gallery could be recreated at whim by using the pause button.’
      • ‘When he noticed who it was, Mike glared at us as he pushed the pause button on the remote.’
      • ‘At times I had to stab the pause button on my remote control while enduring this concert; such was the convulsion of my laughter.’
      • ‘She hit the pause button, and I saw my own foolish-looking face, past her shoulder, frozen on the screen.’
      • ‘If you want to get a good look at anything, the pause button might be your best friend.’
      • ‘Okay, let's hit the pause button and review what just happened.’
      • ‘However, hit the pause button before then, and you could probably sing the simple chorus melody before you even hear it.’
      • ‘The way it looks now you'll use the pause button a lot more.’
      • ‘I'm gonna have to wait till I get the dvd and can use the pause button though.’
      • ‘Malcolm hit the pause button as I reached over and grabbed the phone.’
      • ‘But when he noticed me, he pushed the pause button and looked at me with his big blue eyes, looking kind of curious or even worried.’
      • ‘‘I don't think so,’ snapped Kyle, holding up the remote control and pressing the pause button.’
      • ‘So have I, actually, because I taped it three days ago off MTV2 and have a pause button on my video recorder.’
      • ‘The game allows it to be played as turn-based and the instructions encourage you to use the pause button (space bar) frequently to plan your moves.’
      • ‘You press the pause button and a series of commercials start playing… who should get the money?’
      • ‘It was as if someone had pressed the pause button during a movie.’

Phrases

  • give someone pause

    • Cause someone to think carefully or hesitate before doing something.

      ‘public outrage has given him pause’
      • ‘Now there's something to give you pause for thought.’
      • ‘The Athens experience should give us pause for thought.’
      • ‘But there are lessons from history here that, at the very least, should give us pause for thought.’
      • ‘This was a good point, and gave me pause for thought.’
      • ‘It may have been unfair, but did it not give you pause for thought?’
      • ‘If it doesn't give you pause for thought, even in a world besieged by bad news, you aren't paying attention.’
      • ‘But the notion of ‘celebrating’ any culture should give us pause for thought.’
      • ‘I completely understand that, and, to be honest, it gives me pause for thought.’
      • ‘The result, from what we can guess from the data, should also give them pause for thought.’
      • ‘There was something about the whole deal, however, which gave me pause for thought.’

Origin

Late Middle English: from Old French, from Latin pausa, from Greek pausis, from pausein to stop.

Pronunciation:

pause

/pôz/