- 1 [countable] pause (in something) a period of time during which somebody stops talking or stops what they are doing There was a long pause before she answered. David waited for a pause in the conversation so he could ask his question. After a brief pause, they continued climbing. The rain fell without pause.
- 2 [countable] (especially British English) (also fermata especially in North American English) (music) a sign () over a note or a rest to show that it should be longer than usual
- 3[uncountable] (also pause button) a control that allows you to stop a DVD player, etc. for a short time Press pause to stop the tape. Word Origin late Middle English: from Old French, from Latin pausa, from Greek pausis, from pausein
(formal) to make somebody think seriously about something or hesitate before doing something Popular resistance to the measures should give the government pause. an occasion when nobody speaks, although people are aware that there are feelings or thoughts to express There was a pregnant pause before she replied.