American English

Definition of stop verb from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



    Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they stop
    he / she / it stops
    past simple stopped
    -ing form stopping
    jump to other results
    not move
  1. 1[intransitive, transitive] to no longer move; to make someone or something no longer move The car stopped at the traffic lights. Ann stopped in front of the house. This train doesn't stop in Evanston. We stopped for the night in Tampa. stop somebody/something He was stopped by the police for speeding.
  2. not continue
  3. 2[intransitive, transitive] to no longer continue to do something; to make someone or something no longer do something stop (doing something) That phone never stops ringing! Please stop crying and tell me what's wrong. She criticizes everyone and the trouble is, she doesn't know when to stop. Can't you just stop? stop somebody/something Stop me (= make me stop talking) if I'm boring you. Stop it!You're hurting me. stop what… Mike immediately stopped what he was doing. Notice the difference between stop doing something and stop to do something:We stopped taking picturesmeans “We were no longer taking pictures.”We stopped to take picturesmeans “We stopped what we were doing so that we could start taking pictures.”
  4. end
  5. 3[intransitive, transitive] to end or finish; to make something end or finish When is this fighting going to stop? The bus service stops at midnight. stop doing something Has it stopped raining yet? stop something Doctors couldn't stop the bleeding. The umpire was forced to stop the game because of heavy rain.
  6. prevent
  7. 4[transitive] to prevent someone from doing something; to prevent something from happening stop somebody/something I want to go and you can't stop me. We need more laws to stop pollution. There's no stopping us now (= nothing can prevent us from achieving what we want to achieve). stop somebody/something from doing something There's nothing to stop you from accepting the offer. You can't stop people from saying what they think. stop somebody/something doing something You can't stop people saying what they think.
  8. for short time
  9. 5[intransitive]
  10. 6to end an activity for a short time in order to do something stop for something I'm hungry. Let's stop for lunch. stop to do something We stopped to admire the scenery. People just don't stop to think about the consequences. In spoken English, stop can be used with and plus another verb, instead of with to and the infinitive, to show purpose:He stopped and bought some flowers.Let's stop and look at the map.
  11. not function
  12. 7[intransitive, transitive] to no longer work or function; to make something no longer work or function Why has the engine stopped? What time is it? My watch has stopped. I felt as if my heart had stopped. stop something I stopped the DVD and pressed reverse. Can you stop the printer once it's started?
  13. money
  14. 8[transitive] to prevent money from being paid stop something to stop a check (= tell the bank not to pay it)
  15. close hole
  16. 9[transitive] stop something (up) (with something) to block, fill, or close a hole, an opening, etc. Stop up the other end of the tube, will you? I stopped my ears but still heard her cry out.
  17. Idioms
    stop at nothing
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    to be willing to do anything to get what you want, even if it is dishonest or wrong She'll stop at nothing to make money.
    stop the clock
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    to stop measuring time in a game or an activity that has a time limit
    stop/halt somebody in their tracks, stop/halt/freeze in your tracks
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    to suddenly make someone stop by frightening or surprising them; to suddenly stop because something has frightened or surprised you The question stopped Anna in her tracks.
      stop the presses
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    1. 1to stop printing presses while a newspaper is being printed because late news needs to be added The editor stopped the presses because the headline was wrong.
    2. 2used before telling someone important or shocking news Stop the presses! Jon and Julia are getting married!
    stop short, stop somebody short
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    to suddenly stop, or make someone suddenly stop, doing something He stopped short when he heard his name being called. “I'm pregnant,” she said. That stopped him short.
    stop short of something/of doing something
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    to be unwilling to do something because it may involve a risk, but to nearly do it She stopped short of calling the president a liar. The protest stopped short of a violent confrontation.
    Phrasal Verbsstop by (something)stop off (at/in…)stop over (at/in…)
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: stop