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. verb
    cease an action temporarily
    “We pause for station identification”
    synonyms: break, intermit
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    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
  2. verb
    interrupt an activity temporarily before continuing
    “The speaker paused
    synonyms: hesitate
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    hem and haw
    utter `hems' and `haws'; indicated hesitation
    hesitate on moral grounds
    type of:
    act later than planned, scheduled, or required
  3. noun
    a time interval during which there is a temporary cessation of something
    synonyms: break, intermission, interruption, suspension
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    a break or intermission in the occurrence of something
    a suspension of radio or tv broadcasting
    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
    an intermission between the first and second half of a game
    relief, respite, rest, rest period
    a pause for relaxation
    a brief suspension of play
    letup, lull
    a pause during which things are calm or activities are diminished
    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
    a legally authorized postponement before some obligation must be discharged
    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
  4. noun
    temporary inactivity
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    break, recess, respite, time out
    a pause from doing something (as work)
    falter, faltering, hesitation, waver
    the act of pausing uncertainly
    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
    a break in the school day for play or relaxation
    type of:
    being inactive; being less active
Word Family

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