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

v cease an action temporarily

“We pause for station identification”
break, intermit
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
hem and haw
utter `hems' and `haws'; indicated hesitation
hesitate on moral grounds
Type of:
act later than planned, scheduled, or required

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

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

n 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
Type of:
being inactive; being less active

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