Definition of suspend in US English:



[with object]
  • 1Temporarily prevent from continuing or being in force or effect.

    ‘work on the dam was suspended’
    • ‘Ticket sales at the Glasgow Film Theatre were temporarily suspended prior to a showing in late August.’
    • ‘Eventually some of the remarks got a bit unpleasant and the ability to comment was temporarily suspended to allow everyone time to cool off.’
    • ‘Recently Ryanair was forced to temporarily suspend services on its Strasbourg / London route.’
    • ‘The teachers said they were temporarily suspending further action after the meeting because they expected their demand would be dealt with.’
    • ‘Following the Thursday explosion, reports were circulated that claimed the security raid has been suspended and forces were ordered to retreat.’
    • ‘Excursions to the glacier by horse-drawn carriage have been temporarily suspended and may not resume for the rest of the summer season.’
    • ‘The market might be saturated, but it matters little for these ubiquitous hawkers, who can't even temporarily suspend or postpone their requirements of daily sustenance.’
    • ‘The officials said all training programs have been suspended pending a comprehensive investigation into the incident.’
    • ‘Eventually, the stock exchange suspended trading in the stock.’
    • ‘While immediate lay-offs have been temporarily suspended, the crisis continues with thousands of jobs among Rover's suppliers also under threat.’
    • ‘There were reports Thursday morning that evacuations had been suspended at least temporarily over security concerns.’
    • ‘I pled guilty, paid a fine, and had my driver's license suspended for 30 days.’
    • ‘The weekly walk has been temporarily suspended due to a combination of bad weather and vacations.’
    • ‘While we ultimately know this film is a mockumentary, these techniques allow us to temporarily suspend our disbelief.’
    • ‘When exploration had to be suspended temporarily because of bad weather the ladders rotted and the cave had to be re-rigged.’
    • ‘His driver's licence was suspended for 28 days pending his appearance.’
    • ‘Another bank had its operating license suspended for three months but was subsequently re-opened.’
    • ‘Since the problem of compensation for the land is unresolved, work on them should be suspended temporarily.’
    • ‘The traders have been forced to temporarily suspend trading as they do not want any more clients to fall into this black hole.’
    • ‘It's almost as if we experience an unease, a dislocation, because our freedom to move somewhere else is temporarily suspended.’
    abstain, refrain, forbear, hold back, keep
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    1. 1.1 Officially prohibit (someone) from holding their usual post or carrying out their usual role for a particular length of time.
      ‘two officers were suspended from duty pending the outcome of the investigation’
      • ‘The council suspended him from the post in December 2000.’
      • ‘She was suspended from her post in charge of 20 community wardens last summer and her contract was not renewed when it expired in March this year.’
      • ‘He has now been suspended while the investigation continues.’
      • ‘That was dealt with through disciplinary proceedings, and he was suspended for a length of time, and the outcome was that he was dismissed from the service.’
      • ‘A senior council employee was subsequently suspended on full pay.’
      • ‘Mitch, and possibly Harley, would be immediately suspended indefinitely.’
      • ‘He said four of the 12 officers have already been suspended for failing to stop looting.’
      • ‘He was suspended from this post in July last year.’
      • ‘The Evening Echo has learned he was suspended from his role as governor immediately after he was arrested.’
      • ‘Hall was suspended from his post the following day.’
      • ‘She is currently suspended from duty but she believes she has been unfairly scapegoated and is taking a High Court case to be re-instated.’
      • ‘He was initially regarded as a good pilot, but his performance faded over his final two years in the Guard and he was suspended from flight status.’
      • ‘Now Bromley police have suspended him while they carry out an investigation.’
      • ‘He was immediately suspended from duty when the offences came to light and is now no longer with the service.’
      • ‘She was suspended from teaching in Oct. 2004 and resigned her position just before Christmas.’
      • ‘They are currently suspended from duty and facing criminal charges in relation to allegations made by various inmates.’
      • ‘Five members of staff have been suspended pending the outcome of the investigation.’
      • ‘On April 4 he was suspended from his job and two days later was arrested but released on bail after the Crown Prosecution Service decided not to charge him.’
      • ‘She was briefly suspended from her position and issued with a written warning for insubordination after she wrote to every member of the council pointing out that discussions were taking place.’
      • ‘In any other job or industry someone would be suspended pending an investigation.’
      exclude, debar, shut out, keep out, remove, eliminate, reject, expel, eject, evict, rusticate
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    2. 1.2 Defer or delay (an action, event, or judgment)
      ‘the judge suspended judgment until January 15’
      • ‘Refreshments were served and the Ballinrobe Branch has now suspended its weekly meeting until September.’
      • ‘Mainly, I feel I must suspend any judgement until next weekend, just because so much could change in the time remaining.’
      • ‘Cannier SME owners will suspend judgement until they see what real changes emerge in the kind of deals their banks are prepared to offer.’
      • ‘I'm suspending this meeting until a later time when I can get everyone's complete attention and input.’
      • ‘His version of events is plausible and it is easy to believe him but until more details emerge about the nature of the positive result absolute judgments must be suspended.’
      adjourn, interrupt, break off, postpone, delay, defer, shelve, arrest, put off, intermit, prorogue, hold over, put aside, pigeonhole, hold in abeyance, keep in abeyance, put in abeyance
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    3. 1.3Law (of a judge or court) cause (an imposed sentence) not to be enforced as long as no further offense is committed within a specified period.
      ‘the sentence was suspended for six months’
      ‘a suspended jail sentence’
      • ‘The judge suspended the sentence but the conviction stood.’
      • ‘Five years of the sentence was conditionally suspended for five years.’
      • ‘The prison sentence was later suspended for one week, allowing them to appeal to a higher court.’
      • ‘Instead, the judge suspended the 18-month prison sentence for two years.’
      • ‘He was given a 12-month prison sentence suspended for two years.’
  • 2Hang (something) from somewhere.

    ‘the light was suspended from the ceiling’
    • ‘They're all suspended in mid-air and don't really have anything to say.’
    • ‘They are suspended from the ceiling and wobble slightly if you lean against them.’
    • ‘In some bizarre animator's joke, they were literally suspended, all hung in the air in a big room.’
    • ‘A timber deck is suspended from the concrete slab roof.’
    • ‘Bunches of dried flowers hang from walls and ceiling; an ancient bird cage is suspended from a beam and a wooden hat-stand reminds us of years gone by.’
    • ‘The building is suspended from the cliff by cables, so when the glacier goes down, the restaurant literally hangs.’
    • ‘Each of the fleecy shell jackets is suspended from a hook, with the trousers tucked in beneath and bent at the knee so that the seat touches the hem.’
    • ‘Neon tubular lights in the shapes of numerical digits are suspended from its upper edge.’
    • ‘Fluid black jersey dresses were suspended from leather laces and geometric metal frames.’
    • ‘The key to the diary was suspended from a silver key chain.’
    • ‘Its other end was tied to the axle of the utility, and by its tautness the boy could see when Joe's full weight was suspended from it.’
    • ‘Several large, empty picture frames are suspended from the ceiling.’
    • ‘There is also a shower room, and a cosy den - breaking away from all the open space - in which the warehouse's original hoisting gear is suspended from the ceiling.’
    • ‘Behind the low stage a large dark blue gauze drape with subtle, pastel coloured swirls was suspended from the high ceiling.’
    • ‘The missiles are suspended from four underwing pylons.’
    • ‘Dozens of cages were suspended from special rods around the courtyard.’
    • ‘The floor slab perimeters are suspended via steel hanging rods located in alternate curtain walling mullions with no columns at ground floor level to compromise the huge entrance foyer.’
    • ‘The seats are suspended from wall and ceiling mounts.’
    • ‘At the head of the room, a large screen was suspended from the ceiling and onto it was projected what appeared to be the layout for their graduation.’
    • ‘A single lantern was suspended from another chain attached presumably to a ceiling of sorts, though Oliver's falcon eyes could not penetrate the darkness.’
    hang, sling, drape, string, put up
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  • 3be suspended(of solid particles) be dispersed throughout the bulk of a fluid.

    ‘the paste contains collagen suspended in a salt solution’
    • ‘Latex emulsions are made up of polymeric materials suspended in an aqueous solvent by a surfactant.’
    • ‘The samples were compared to a control that was suspended in a standard sodium hydroxide buffer with bubbled carbon dioxide gas.’
    • ‘Magnetorheological shock absorbers use tiny particles of iron suspended in a viscous fluid as the damping medium.’
    • ‘He took pictures of the samples of colloids, which is a system of fine particles suspended in a fluid such as paint, milk or ink.’
    • ‘Propofol is suspended in a soybean lipid emulsion, which supports rapid bacterial growth.’
    • ‘The dispersed particles do not remain suspended indefinitely but eventually settle to the bottom of the container because of the gravitational pull.’
    • ‘What makes this technology unique is its reliance on iron particles suspended in synthetic fluid to control vehicle ride motions.’
    • ‘These nanotube devices could be suspended in a solution and used for photocatalytic solar hydrogen production.’
    • ‘The mobility of electrons is influenced by cellular metabolism and the concentration of charged particles suspended in body fluid.’
    • ‘This type of sediment will be suspended in stormwater for long periods of time, can be carried long distances and is likely to cause environmental harm upon reaching waterways.’
    • ‘This sets up a chemical reaction which turns the gas into nitric acid and the nitric acid is neutralised by calcium carbonate which is also suspended in the paint.’
    • ‘When the shutter of your camera opens for that fraction of a second, photons of light stream in and strike the silver halide grains suspended in the gelatin emulsion.’
    • ‘This is coupled through solid-fluid interaction rules to the Newtonian rotation and translation of solid particles suspended in the fluid.’
    • ‘Organic and inorganic particles suspended in the water surrounding the inhalant aperture are brought in by the current and caught in the mucus lining the demibranchs.’
    • ‘Cloudy spinal fluid may indicate infection because of increased cells and proteins suspended in the fluid.’
    • ‘The first printer component has a fluid outlet in fluid communication with a supply of pigmented fluid defined by particles suspended in a carrier fluid.’
    • ‘The situation is much more interesting when there is a mixture of solids that are suspended in a liquid (a slurry).’
    • ‘Chemists are most often concerned with colloids in which solid or liquid particles are suspended in a liquid.’
    • ‘It is more appropriate to think of it as a colloid system of small solid particles suspended in water.’


  • suspend disbelief

    • Temporarily allow oneself to believe something that isn't true, especially in order to enjoy a work of fiction.

      • ‘As with most Hollywood films, you suspend disbelief in order to enjoy them, knowing that they would pop under the slightest examination.’
      • ‘For a couple of days, even respectable members of the scientific community were suspending disbelief.’
      • ‘For anyone who willingly suspends disbelief, it is an easy matter to enter into the world of pyramids.’
      • ‘She was a very believably shy, sweet, funny Cinderella, and you did not have to suspend disbelief to accept that the men of the chorus were literally bowled over when she arrived at the palace in Act II.’
      • ‘It's not like superheroes, where an essentially silly subject has a huge cultural resonance allowing an audience to suspend disbelief.’
      • ‘Though the older ones might know very well that the characters are just ordinary persons in disguise, they are ready to suspend disbelief and enjoy themselves along with the rest.’
      • ‘The guy is an artist and he inspires his audience not only to suspend disbelief but also, like all great showmen, to believe.’
      • ‘Feature films invite us to defy reality, believe a fiction, suspend disbelief.’
      • ‘Unlike the normal convention of being seated in a theater, one can go up close and for a brief moment suspend disbelief to experience the thrill of the phantasmagoria - the disorienting effect of the wall falling toward you.’
      • ‘Reading fiction requires the ability to suspend disbelief, to dream, and that's a critical faculty that we all need to exercise.’
  • suspend payment

    • (of a company) cease to meet its financial obligations as a result of insolvency or insufficient funds.

      • ‘It followed that the debt, evidenced by the receipt, had not matured when the merchant suspended payment.’
      • ‘Wracked by civil wars, Mexico suspended payment on its international loans in 1861 and in retaliation a joint Anglo-Spanish-French force seized Vera Cruz.’


Middle English: from Old French suspendre or Latin suspendere, from sub- ‘from below’ + pendere ‘hang’.