Meaning of surcease in English:


Pronunciation /səːˈsiːs/


mass noun
  • 1North American archaic Ending; cessation.

    ‘he teased us without surcease’
    • ‘In Savannah Bay, two women talk and talk - or pause and pose - without surcease.’
    • ‘In this country, not only have we been about the making of many, many books in recent years-more than 175,000 new titles and editions last year alone-but there also appears to be no surcease in sight.’
    interlude, entr'acte, break, recess, pause, rest, respite, breathing space, lull, gap, stop, stoppage, halt
    1. 1.1Relief or consolation.
      ‘drugs are taken to provide surcease from intolerable psychic pain’
      • ‘My wife Mary returned to Honolulu with Miki to help with all the arrangements and to offer some surcease from the grief.’
      • ‘All the 12-steps deals seem to give him some sort of surcease from daily pressures.’
      • ‘A mixture of pain, grief, and guilt - one of the most bitter cocktails the human experience offers - can cause people to do unexpected things in the quest for surcease.’
      • ‘A shepherd or two could be spared, but the suffering of kings demands surcease.’
      • ‘Only art, he says, offers us surcease from this cycle of striving meeting disappointment.’
      • ‘With their thirst for revenge sated, there is nothing left for either Lavinia or the maddened Titus but the surcease of sorrow in death.’
      interval, intermission, break, recess, pause, respite, rest, breathing space, halt, gap, stop, stoppage, hiatus, lull


[no object] archaic
  • Stop; cease.

    ‘You can now toss the bottle of Prozac over your shoulder and realize that depression has surceased.’
    • ‘Logging old growth forests - and distributing and selling old growth forest products - is a barbaric, outdated practice that has surceased in the American marketplace.’


Late Middle English (as a verb): from Old French sursis, past participle of Old French surseoir ‘refrain, delay’, from Latin supersedere (see supersede). The change in the ending was due to association with cease; the noun dates from the late 16th century.