Definition of suspension in US English:



  • 1The temporary prevention of something from continuing or being in force or effect.

    ‘the suspension of military action’
    • ‘There are many other risks of business interruption and suspension that cannot be transferred to an insurance company.’
    • ‘The Embassy bombing touched off storms of protests from China and led to suspension of almost all military contacts and planned visits.’
    • ‘Serious and systemic human rights violations of the type that may lead to suspension of aid or trade will not change overnight.’
    • ‘The formal suspension of the action led to the resumption of talks with the government in a further attempt to impose a settlement in the 15-month dispute.’
    • ‘It is doubtful that trade suspension by Japan will lead to North Korea's collapse or deal it a severe blow, forcing it to yield and change its policy.’
    adjournment, interruption, postponement, delay, deferral, deferment, shelving, stay, moratorium, arrest, intermission, interlude, prorogation, tabling, abeyance
    exclusion, debarment, removal, temporary removal, elimination, rejection, expulsion, ejection, eviction, rustication
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 The official prohibition of someone from holding their usual post or carrying out their usual role for a particular length of time.
      ‘the investigation led to the suspension of several officers’
      ‘a four-game suspension’
      • ‘We were both guilty, so if he got a one-game suspension, then I should have gotten one game.’
      • ‘In his two games since serving a one-game team suspension, Buckhalter has carried the ball six times for only 11 yards.’
      • ‘It carries a one-year suspension that he has served 14 times over.’
      • ‘Officials stress that suspension is normal procedure in the circumstances.’
      • ‘The students each received a one-day suspension, which school officials agreed not to enforce after they were contacted by the ACLU of Massachusetts.’
      • ‘A spokesman for North Ayrshire said that, depending on the severity of the incident, officials would consider suspension, expulsion and calling in the police.’
      • ‘For his trouble, the NBA has levied out a nasty one-game suspension.’
      • ‘The four-game suspension of RB Travis Henry will mean more carries for Chris Brown.’
      • ‘Stars like Bogart or Clark Gable during Hollywood's golden era were regularly on suspension for turning down roles they regarded as typecasting.’
      • ‘He will serve a one-match suspension with immediate effect.’
      • ‘The representatives of the agitating workers have demanded the immediate suspension of the police officials involved.’
      • ‘The big question entering the play-offs was how Wallace would respond to the suspension, his third of the season and the second issued by the team.’
      • ‘Before the suspension, the oft-injured senior had played in only three career games with the Utes, running for 500 yards and four touchdowns.’
      • ‘In his second game back from the suspension, he scored three goals.’
      • ‘For suspensions, they were asked the year their suspension occurred and the length of their suspension.’
      • ‘I mean, here I was risking major detention and possibly a suspension from band class for some guy.’
      • ‘Further, based on decades of experience with such cases, in a series of policy documents the profession has defined the circumstances under which a suspension can be imposed.’
      • ‘My parents said I couldn't hang out with my friends, because that would defeat most of the purpose of a suspension, which is thinking about what I've done wrong.’
      • ‘Tonight, it is the highest-profile suspension yet in the Major League Baseball steroid scandal.’
  • 2The system of springs and shock absorbers by which a vehicle is cushioned from road conditions.

    ‘the car's rear suspension’
    • ‘It was also given a more conventional rear suspension with leaf springs in a typical Hotchkiss design.’
    • ‘Look for brake, clutch, gearbox, suspension and engine wear - that is to say, have her professionally checked, before handing over that bank draft.’
    • ‘The rear sub-frame, front suspension, engine and gearbox plus the wiring loom and various bits from the dash are also used.’
    • ‘The running gear has torsion bar suspension with an adjustable damping system and automatic block mechanism without stabilising spades.’
    • ‘The rear suspension features a live axle with steel leaf springs.’
    • ‘There are no modifications to the brakes, suspension, steering or interior; even Works wheels are extra.’
    • ‘The independent rear suspension offers better lateral stiffness yet more fore/aft compliance than a live rear axle.’
    • ‘An innovative (for its day) independent rear suspension provided a roomy trunk and marvelous stability.’
    • ‘The resulting balance combined with front and rear double wishbone suspension and concentrated stiffness and rigidity is almost flawless.’
    • ‘The Frontier features a rind leaf spring rear suspension and like the Xterra has the power-assisted rack and pinion steering.’
    • ‘An independent bi-directional torsion suspension provides better operator comfort, with more traction and stability.’
    • ‘The car had independent front suspension and featured spare wheel compartments in the front wings.’
    • ‘Cleverly, the gearbox and rear suspension could be changed as a unit in under ten minutes - which was an extreme competitive advantage under racing conditions.’
    • ‘The cost savings paid for the SUV's independent rear suspension, which can be shared with the pickup should the market demand it.’
    • ‘The running gear features torsion bar suspension with hydraulic shock absorbers at one, two and six road wheel stations and tracks with rubber-metallic pin hinges.’
    • ‘All Epsilon cars share a front strut suspension and four-link rear with identical mounting points and wheel travel.’
    • ‘Imagine the classic pickup with modern drivetrain, suspension and electronics.’
    • ‘The new model features a durable stainless steel tray at the back, live axle and leaf springs rather than independent rear suspension.’
    • ‘The rear suspension is susceptible to wheel geometry changes and any misalignment shows up in the handling of the car.’
  • 3A mixture in which particles are dispersed throughout the bulk of a fluid.

    ‘a suspension of corn starch in peanut oil’
    • ‘Lipid suspensions in buffer were spun in an Eppendorf centrifuge at room temperature.’
    • ‘In the first one, excess cholesterol remains in solution, thereby nucleating crystallites in the bulk suspension.’
    • ‘All stock particle suspensions were made freshly in sterile deionized water.’
    • ‘Oil paints are made up of a suspension of pigments in an oil such as linseed oil that dries.’
    • ‘Lipid concentrations of liposome suspensions were determined by phosphate analysis.’
    • ‘A patient is first asked to drink a suspension of barium sulfate in water.’
    • ‘Lotion moisturizers are suspensions of oily chemicals in alcohol and water.’
    • ‘Bring bottled chemicals and organic suspensions into your basement or utility area and store on a high shelf.’
    • ‘The dispersion is called a suspension if the particle is greater than 0.5 micrometers.’
    • ‘Phosphates can aid in the emulsification and protection of colloidal suspensions for the food industry as well.’
    • ‘One of the simplest ways of demonstrating that an apparent solution is actually a suspension of microscopic particles is through light scattering.’
    • ‘Milk is a colloidal suspension of oil droplets in water.’
    • ‘It involves the suspension of monomer particles in water.’
    • ‘An aerosol is a suspension of very small particles of solid or liquid dispersed in a gas medium.’
    • ‘This suspension was homogenized a third time as before.’
    • ‘The commercial version of aluminum hydroxide usually consists of an aqueous suspension containing a small amount of aluminum oxide.’
    • ‘First of all, we used particle suspensions and not water-soluble, autoclaved extracts.’
    • ‘Thus, some are supplied in liquid form, such as solutions, emulsions or suspensions, and others in solid form, such as powders or granules.’
    • ‘A liquid suspension contains drug particles that can't be dissolved.’
    • ‘After addition was complete the suspension was filtered through glass wool and dialyzed.’
    mixture, mix, blend, compound, tincture, infusion, emulsion, colloid, gel, fluid
    View synonyms
    1. 3.1 The state of being dispersed in a fluid.
      ‘the agitator in the vat keeps the slurry in suspension’
      • ‘More often than not, the soapy agent holds soil in suspension as it becomes loose during the wash cycle, and is subsequently flushed away during the rinse cycle and centrifugal spin.’
      • ‘The lipids are held in suspension as tiny globules known as liposomes, and are delivered by a manual-pump aerosol spray onto the closed eye.’
      • ‘Mammalian cells would require a surface on which they had to attach before cell division could take place, unlike bacteria that grow in suspension.’
      • ‘Muds are transported in suspension by surface waters and are widely dispersed from their source area.’
      • ‘It does not dissolve the latex particles, but disperses them in suspension.’
      • ‘This has a big effect on reducing underwater visibility, as the mainland feeds the River Tyne with water-borne sediment and delivers it in suspension into the North Sea.’
      • ‘The beads were kept in suspension for 30 min by shaking at 400 rpm on a microfuge tube shaker at room temperature.’
      • ‘The crowding effect is a simple consequence of the withdrawal of water, some of which is now occupied in holding the sugar in suspension and some of which evaporates.’
  • 4Music
    A discord made by prolonging a note of a chord into the following chord.

    • ‘Each note, once sounded, is held on, to produce a grinding multiple suspension over a quasitonic E at the sixth bar.’
    • ‘Santana's own contribution is replete with rubato, ornamentation and suspensions.’
    • ‘As a musician, some deeply ingested logic automatically pivoted the vision before me to a tangible translation of a triad's triple arch in heavenly suspension.’
    • ‘He also used sighing suspensions, and unexpected leaps to hold on to bass pedal notes to create chords.’


Late Middle English: from French, or from Latin suspensio(n-), from the verb suspendere (see suspend).