Definition of stop in English:

stop

verb

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

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

    ‘he tried to stop the hole with the heel of his boot’
    ‘the drain has been stopped up’
    • ‘The amount of work required to stop a leak depends on the complexity of the problem.’
    • ‘When it is 30 below zero, getting people's heat on is more important than stopping their leaks.’
    • ‘That's an appropriate piece of stout paper to stop the leak in the wastepipe.’
    • ‘The boat's owner succeeds in stopping the leak.’
    • ‘A spokesman said it had to wait for the gas leak to be stopped before work could begin on restoring the electricity supply.’
    • ‘The council is taking action to stop a leak in Hollies Road.’
    • ‘It is too late to stop the leak when the vessel is in the midst of river.’
    • ‘The leak was stopped 20 minutes later when an inspector switched off the main.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘He is getting the drains right and stopping the leaks in the roof and so on.’
    • ‘Firemen wearing breathing gear stopped the leak and an engineer was called to repair a broken seal.’
    • ‘Take the coconut shell and fill with yolk, stopping the hole with your finger.’
    block, block up, plug, close, close up, fill, fill up
    View synonyms
    1. 3.1 Block 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.’
    2. 3.2 Plug the upper end of (an organ pipe), giving a note an octave lower.
    3. 3.3 Obtain 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.’
    4. 3.4 Make (a rope) fast with a stopper.

noun

  • 1A cessation of movement or operation.

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

    1. 2.1 A 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.
      • ‘It also has a cathedral housing the biggest organ in the world: 17,388 pipes and 231 stops.’
      • ‘Specific ranks of pipes may be brought into and out of play by means of stops.’
      • ‘These organs were played only with sliding stops, not a keyboard like a modern organ.’
  • 3Photography
    The effective diameter of a lens.

    1. 3.1 A device for reducing the effective diameter of a lens.
    2. 3.2 A unit of change of relative aperture or exposure (with a reduction of one stop equivalent to halving it).
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘You will find these readings are roughly two stops more light than the camera ‘thinks’ they should be.’
      • ‘When you go through the finished prints you will be able to see the results of 2 complete stops of exposure difference.’
      • ‘Underexposing by one to two stops intensifies the effect.’

Phrases

  • pull out all the stops

    • 1Make a very great effort to achieve something.

      ‘the director pulled out all the stops to meet the impossible deadline’
      • ‘People are pulling out all the stops, and though there are several hurdles still to cross, it is all looking very positive.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘But when it counts, he really pulls out all the stops and that is why we have done so well.’
      • ‘I tend to think Duncan probably pulls out all the stops to help small business people.’
      • ‘It is a very serious offence and we are pulling out all the stops to trace them.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘We are now pulling out all the stops to reduce as far as possible the actual number of job losses.’
      • ‘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 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.’
      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
      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.’
        • ‘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.’
        • ‘Elephant is definitely their defining moment: crashing rock that pulls 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 (an activity) to end.

      ‘she would have to put a stop to all this nonsense’
      • ‘Children going to teen discos were drinking on the buses and it should be easy enough to put a stop to that.’
      • ‘It would negate the need to build these inefficient wind farms and put a stop to the despoiling of Scotland's landscapes!’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The efforts to exclude reporters and exit pollers from the polls, they put a stop to that.’
      • ‘Now they want to see new faces, less talent, and if I was a TV executive I'd put a stop to that.’
      • ‘The collapse of communism put a stop to all that nonsense, but it does not mean that peace has returned to the region.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘They've just given them a bad name and I'm just trying to put a stop to all that.’
      • ‘If the law doesn't already contain means - effective means - of putting a stop to that, then it needs to be changed.’
      • ‘I had a couple of sparkling whites before putting a stop to that and I'm glad I did.’
      bring to an end, halt, put an end to, end, bring to a stop, bring to a halt
      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 position of power’
      • ‘They will stop at nothing and use any means possible to get what they want, regardless of whether this includes losing homes, business etc.’
      • ‘No matter how thin the anorexic gets, she sees herself as fat and stops at nothing to get thinner.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘And we know to a certainty that this is the regime that will stop at nothing to accomplish its irrational goals.’
      • ‘Faulkner is a young, ambitious, ruthless woman who will stop at nothing in order to secure a lofty management job.’
      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 one's ears

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

      • ‘When my open-minded father learned Spanish, I stopped my ears when he played his language tapes and repeated perro 20 times.’
      • ‘The tales of rape, humiliation, physical and mental torture pour out until you want to cover your eyes and stop your ears.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
  • stop someone's mouth

    • Induce someone to keep silent about something.

  • stop the show

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

      • ‘Clark stops the show with a passionately funny monologue describing the bickering among the women in his life.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘There are no arias or set-pieces in Semyon Kotko - there is little here to stop the show.’
      • ‘She stops the show in a rousing rendition of ‘Diamonds Are a Girl's Best Friend.’’
      • ‘The tiny songbird scooped up six Latin Music Awards and stopped the show with a sizzling performance.’
      • ‘She totally nailed her New York accents and stopped the show with ‘Come to Your Senses.’’
      • ‘‘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.’
      • ‘Anyway, the number was genius, totally stopping the show, and I was a little misty right through the end of the show.’
      • ‘The aforementioned Matthews, her lovely voice swelling with emotion, is the only singer who actually stops the show in this production.’

Phrasal Verbs

  • stop by (or in)

    • Call briefly and informally as a visitor.

      • ‘In his four years of high school he never passed up a chance to stop in my room for a game or two.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘He stops by regularly to visit anyone who welcomes him, sometimes even when they don't!’
      • ‘I think there's a home health nurse who stops by to see him daily.’
      • ‘Our Beijing guide Max arranged for us to stop in and visit a hutong family and drink a cup of tea with them.’
      • ‘He promised he'd call more often and told me I could stop by to visit and see Jeffery whenever I was free.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Doug said he would stop by in the morning before his shift, to see how she was doing.’
      • ‘Matt had called her to tell her that he was going to stop by and drop off a demo track for her to critique.’
  • 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 when traveling.

      ‘I stopped off to visit him and his wife’
      ‘he decided to stop over in Paris’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘It sounds more exciting than it actually is, but it means I'll get to stop over and visit friends and family.’
      • ‘You can stop off at several points en route for a longer visit with your animals of choice.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Many racegoers from the Emerald Isle are expected to stop off en route to Cheltenham in a bid to increase their cash reserves.’
      • ‘We stopped off at Humansdorp at St Francis Bay, where we visited a cousin of Jono's.’
      • ‘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 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.’
      • ‘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.’
      break one's journey, take a break, pause
      View synonyms
  • stop out

    • Withdraw 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’
      • ‘They generally are older, drop out or stop out at higher rates, take longer to complete their degrees, and often are married with children.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘About one in every six freshmen will stop out before finishing their program.’
      • ‘These students often "stop out" when they meet financial difficulties.’
      • ‘Readmits - These students were once at the college but stopped out, dropped out, or were academically dismissed.’
      • ‘More female high achievers are "stopping out" to raise kids - and avoiding Corporate America when they return.’
      • ‘Single until recently, she had three kids and "stopped out" - taking no classes seven of those years.’
  • stop something out

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

Origin

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

Pronunciation

stop

/stäp//stɑp/