pause

The noun pause means "a short break," like the pauses in television shows that allow for commercials to be shown.

Pause can also be a verb that means "to stop for a short time." Teachers, for example, often pause after making an important point to check that students understand and to give them time to ask questions. Pause which rhymes with laws and cause, comes from the Greek word pausis, "stopping, ceasing," which comes from pauein "to stop, to cause to cease." Why don't you pause and think about that for a moment.

Definitions of pause
1

v cease an action temporarily

“We pause for station identification”
Synonyms:
break, intermit
Types:
breathe, catch one's breath, rest, take a breather
take a short break from one's activities in order to relax
take five
take a break for five minutes
take ten
take a ten minute break
Type of:
break up, cut off, disrupt, interrupt
make a break in

v interrupt an activity temporarily before continuing

“The speaker paused
Synonyms:
hesitate
Types:
hem and haw
utter `hems' and `haws'; indicated hesitation
scruple
hesitate on moral grounds
Type of:
delay
act later than planned, scheduled, or required

n a time interval during which there is a temporary cessation of something

Synonyms:
break, intermission, interruption, suspension
Types:
show 13 types...
hide 13 types...
lapse
a break or intermission in the occurrence of something
blackout
a suspension of radio or tv broadcasting
caesura
a pause or interruption (as in a conversation)
dead air
an inadvertent interruption in a broadcast during which there is no sound
delay, hold, postponement, time lag, wait
time during which some action is awaited
halftime
an intermission between the first and second half of a game
relief, respite, rest, rest period
a pause for relaxation
time-out
a brief suspension of play
letup, lull
a pause during which things are calm or activities are diminished
extension
a mutually agreed delay in the date set for the completion of a job or payment of a debt
breath, breather, breathing place, breathing space, breathing spell, breathing time
a short respite
moratorium
a legally authorized postponement before some obligation must be discharged
retardation
the extent to which something is delayed or held back
Type of:
interval, time interval
a definite length of time marked off by two instants

n temporary inactivity

Types:
show 5 types...
hide 5 types...
break, recess, respite, time out
a pause from doing something (as work)
falter, faltering, hesitation, waver
the act of pausing uncertainly
intermission
the act of suspending activity temporarily
freeze, halt
an interruption or temporary suspension of progress or movement
spring break
a week or more of recess during the spring term at school
Type of:
inactivity
being inactive; being less active

Sign up, it's free!

Whether you're a student, an educator, or a lifelong learner, Vocabulary.com can put you on the path to systematic vocabulary improvement.