Meaning of pause in English:


Pronunciation /pɔːz/

See synonyms for pause

Translate pause into Spanish


[no object]
  • 1Interrupt action or speech briefly.

    ‘she paused, at a loss for words’
    • ‘They wandered about a little while, pausing briefly to pull on their boots.’
    • ‘He might pause at the office briefly before leaving for the day.’
    • ‘She pulled the wrapping paper from the gift, pausing only briefly at the nondescript box.’
    • ‘The guy paused in his speech, mentally marking the place he was up to and pondered the question for a moment.’
    • ‘He took a step closer to her, pausing briefly to see if she would move away.’
    • ‘She winked at him and left the living room, pausing briefly to readjust the shawl one more time.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘I pause, waiting to see if he's still with me, if he has understood.’
    • ‘He pauses to watch a truck pass through a gate, then continues, almost conspiratorially.’
    • ‘I pause, watching as she gazes forlornly out the window.’
    • ‘I pause, watching as he extracts a beer bottle from inside the fridge.’
    • ‘Outside his headquarters I paused to rest for a moment on one of the benches.’
    • ‘At midday, buses will pull to the side of the road, black cabs will stop and people will pause in their daily routine.’
    • ‘They discovered that men are almost twice a likely as women to pause or hesitate when talking.’
    • ‘Her dark blue eyes made him pause a second longer.’
    • ‘Amy and Carrie paused their aimless conversation to look at me, incredulously.’
    • ‘They moved like this for a long time, pausing every so often to monitor their surroundings.’
    • ‘The guy pauses a moment, then grants that this proposition seems doubtful.’
    stop, cease, halt, discontinue, break off, take a break, take a breath
    View synonyms

    Video: a look at pause

    1. 1.1with object Temporarily interrupt the operation of (a process or device)
      ‘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.’
      • ‘Fay squealed seconds later, pausing the tape and pointing at the figure on the screen.’
      • ‘Users can pause live TV, rewind and set up recordings - all without an advanced degree in VCR technology.’
      • ‘She can then fast forward, rewind and pause it at any time over the next 24 hours.’
      • ‘One additional feature of these devices is the ability to pause normal TV shows.’
      • ‘The system allows viewers to watch, fast-forward, rewind and pause digital movies.’
      • ‘He would pause the tape when this occurred, and then record what was said in his notebook.’
      • ‘For example, you can pause your favourite television programme while you grab a snack or go to the toilet.’
      • ‘Better still, you will be able to pause the download operation, disconnect, make a phone call and then resume.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘I got nothing else to say on his answer, because I'd have to pause the tape again until I stop laughing.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘I laughed at his silliness, asked Holly to pause the movie for a second, and got up to go out to the kitchen.’
      • ‘He pulled one head phone out of his ear and pressed another button on the contraption to pause the music.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘There are occasional compression artifacts: if you pause the image, you may see vertical bands of pixels.’
      • ‘TiVo wowed most observers with its ability to pause live television.’
      • ‘You can pause live television programmes and then go back to where you left off when you press play.’
      • ‘It also offers functions like those found on TiVo, like pausing live action.’
      • ‘It will reconnect at any time; pause it, quit it, turn the computer off, you can start the download again and it's fine.’


  • 1A temporary stop in action or speech.

    ‘she dropped me outside during a brief pause in the rain’
    • ‘he chattered away without pause’
    • ‘It's a text without spacing, a speech without pause for breath.’
    • ‘I heard the shower stop, a brief pause, then the whirr of an electric toothbrush started up.’
    • ‘After a brief pause, it stopped momentarily on another tree.’
    • ‘She stopped pacing, her pause leaving her gazing out the window.’
    • ‘Without pause, he grabbed the tree branch and pulled himself up into the hollow of the tree.’
    • ‘Without pause, he rode towards them and ordered them to take down a section of fence.’
    • ‘I keep seeing clips of him addressing audiences a few years ago and he didn't have the awkward pauses in his speech.’
    • ‘He also used speech pauses effectively to drive home his messages.’
    • ‘From time to time, he stopped and, after a brief pause, continued his barbed tirade against the desecrators of the Sabbath.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘And there is a pause in your speech, but I can tell you would still like to say more.’
    • ‘Cues pertaining to verbal qualities included such features as pitch of voice, details of story, pauses in speech, and laughing.’
    • ‘I could not understand why a performance with no scenery changes should require anything but the briefest of pauses between items.’
    • ‘At first, you could see that the wrestlers were playing along with the crowd, deliberately leaving pauses during their speeches.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘After a brief pause, he said ‘Sorry, mate, but there's a dress code.’’
    • ‘After a brief pause for judging, it will continue on to the community centre where refreshments for all participants will be served.’
    • ‘There will be a brief pause while I gather my outrage.’
    • ‘After a brief pause, Felix returns to the phone and the line starts ringing.’
    stop, cessation, break, halt, stoppage, standstill, interruption, check, lull, respite, stay, breathing space, discontinuation, discontinuance, hiatus, gap, lapse, lapse of time, interlude, intermission, interval, entr'acte
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1Music A mark over a note or rest that is to be lengthened by an unspecified amount.
      ‘In the 5th Symphony he dispenses with the pause before the finale.’
      • ‘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.’
    2. 1.2A control allowing the temporary interruption of recording, playback, or other process.
      ‘You press the pause button and a series of commercials start playing… who should get the money?’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘So have I, actually, because I taped it three days ago off MTV2 and have a pause button on my video recorder.’
      • ‘‘I don't think so,’ snapped Kyle, holding up the remote control and pressing the pause button.’
      • ‘At times I had to stab the pause button on my remote control while enduring this concert; such was the convulsion of my laughter.’
      • ‘I'm gonna have to wait till I get the dvd and can use the pause button though.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘She hit the pause button on the music and opened the door.’
      • ‘Okay, let's hit the pause button and review what just happened.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The way it looks now you'll use the pause button a lot more.’
      • ‘It was as if someone hit the pause button; they knew we were here.’
      • ‘She hit the pause button, and I saw my own foolish-looking face, past her shoulder, frozen on the screen.’
      • ‘However, hit the pause button before then, and you could probably sing the simple chorus melody before you even hear it.’
      • ‘It was as if someone had pressed the pause button during a movie.’
      • ‘Malcolm hit the pause button as I reached over and grabbed the phone.’
      • ‘When he noticed who it was, Mike glared at us as he pushed the pause button on the remote.’
      • ‘If you want to get a good look at anything, the pause button might be your best friend.’


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

      ‘the sight of these gives any would-be attacker pause’
      • ‘I completely understand that, and, to be honest, it gives me pause for thought.’
      • ‘Now there's something to 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.’
      • ‘It may have been unfair, but did it not give you pause for thought?’
      • ‘But the notion of ‘celebrating’ any culture should give us 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.’
      • ‘The result, from what we can guess from the data, should also give them pause for thought.’
      • ‘This was a good point, and gave me pause for thought.’
      • ‘There was something about the whole deal, however, which gave me pause for thought.’


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