pause

pause n Pause, recess, respite, lull, intermission are comparable when they mean a temporary cessation especially in action, in activity, or in movement.
Pause, though it carries an implication of expected resumption, stresses the fact of stopping without indicating, in itself, the duration or the cause of the stop. The term is often applied to such a letup in utterance as that marked in printing by a period or a caesura or as that caused by an interruption, by hesitation, or by awaiting an answer, but it may quite as readily be applied to a temporary cessation of activity (as for play, for sleep, or for relaxation)
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there was a short pause before he resumed speaking

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between the dark and the daylight . . . comes a pause in the day's occupations, that is known as the Children's Hour— Longfellow

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there is no pause in the invention of new and appalling weapons— Grenville Clark

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Recess implies a temporary cessation of work; usually it applies to an interval granted (as to legislators or students) for the sake of relaxation or diversion
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the smaller boys and girls are granted a recess of ten minutes each morning

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Parliament is now in recess

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the justices adjourned for their summer recess—N. Y. Times

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Respite implies a time of relief (as from labor, suffering, or war) or of delay (as before sentencing or executing)
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there will be no respite for such workers for the duration of the war

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a battle that seemed to be without respite and without end— R'ol- vaag

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a body of people . . . thrown together for a week or so without the possibility of respite or escape— Lowes

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Lull implies a temporary cessation or marked decline of activity (as in the course of a storm, in business, or in military activity between two offensives)
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after a lull the storm turned inland with increased fury

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running full tilt in most of its departments following a summer lullEricson

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there was a lull in the noises of insects as if they . . . were making a devotional pause— Crane

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Intermission basically implies a break in continuity but comes close to lull in stressing one caused by a temporary cessation (as of an action, a process, or a proceeding). However, its application is usually quite different since it usually suggests a pause available for some new or special activity (as for rest or recuperation)
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the habit of stern thrift, begun in 1870 and practiced without any intermission till . . . 1897— Bennett

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the attack recurred after a few days' intermission

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he often gives himself some intermission from such melancholy reflections— Burke

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several persons gathered around to talk during the intermission between the acts of a play

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Analogous words: interruption, gap, interval, *break, interim: stopping or stop, ceasing or cessation (see corresponding verbs at STOP)

New Dictionary of Synonyms. 2014.

Synonyms:

Look at other dictionaries:

  • pause — [ poz ] n. f. • 1360; lat. pausa 1 ♦ Interruption momentanée d une activité, d un travail. ⇒ arrêt, 2. break(anglic.), interruption, suspension. La pause de midi. Fam. La pause( )café (pour prendre le café). ♢ Spécialt Temps de repos interrompant …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Pause — Pause, 1) Unterbrechung, Stillstand in Etwas; 2) (Mus.), der Verzug in einem Tonstück, welchen ein Instrument od. mehre machen; 3) Notenzeichen, welches dem Spieler od. Sänger andeutet, diesen Verzug eintreten zu lassen. Die P n sind große u.… …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

  • Pause — Pause, v. i. [imp. & p. p. {Paused}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Pausing}.] [Cf. F. pauser, L. pausare. See {Pause}, n., {Pose}.] 1. To make a short stop; to cease for a time; to intermit speaking or acting; to stop; to wait; to rest. Tarry, pause a day or… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • pause — [pôz] n. [ME pawse < MFr pause < L pausa < Gr pausis, a stopping < pauein, to bring to an end < IE base * paus , to let go > OPrus pausto, wild] 1. a short period of inaction; temporary stop, break, or rest, as in speaking or… …   English World dictionary

  • pause — PAUSE. s. f. Intermission, suspension, cessation d une action, d un mouvement pour quelque temps. Il ne se dit proprement qu en parlant des personnes. Faire une pause, de longues pauses. Il fit deux ou trois pauses en chemin. la procession fit… …   Dictionnaire de l'Académie française

  • pause — ► NOUN 1) a temporary stop in action or speech. 2) Music a mark ( ) over a note or rest that is to be lengthened by an unspecified amount. ► VERB ▪ stop temporarily. ● give pause (or give pause for thought) to Cf. ↑give pause to …   English terms dictionary

  • Pause — Pause, n. [F., fr. L. pausa. See {Pose}.] 1. A temporary stop or rest; an intermission of action; interruption; suspension; cessation. [1913 Webster] 2. Temporary inaction or waiting; hesitation; suspence; doubt. [1913 Webster] I stand in pause… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Pause — may refer to a rest, hesitation, or temporary stop.Pause may also refer to: * Rest (music) or fermata; also specifically the whole rest in French usage * The break key on computer keyboards * A requested breakpoint during computer program… …   Wikipedia

  • Pause — Pause, v. t. To cause to stop or rest; used reflexively. [R.] Shak. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Pause [1] — Pause (v. griech. pausis, das »Aufhören«), Ruhepunkt, das zeitweise Aufhören oder Unterbrechen einer Tätigkeit; insbes. bei der Deklamation und im Spiel des Schauspielers das an gewissen Stellen beobachtete Innehalten und namentlich in der Musik… …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon

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