From Longman Dictionary of Contemporary Englishpausepause1 /pɔːz $ pɒːz/ ●●● W2 verb 1 PAUSE[intransitive] to stop speaking or doing something for a short time before starting againpause for She paused for a moment. He paused for breath, then continued up the hill. ‘No, ’ he replied, without pausing for thought.pause to do something Joe paused to consider his answer.► see thesaurus at stop2 [intransitive, transitive] to push a button on a CD player, DVD player etc in order to make a CD, DVD etc stop playing for a short timeCOLLOCATIONSadverbsbrieflyAt the doorway she paused briefly.momentarily (=for a very short time)He paused momentarily, then knocked twice more.dramatically'They have offered us a lot of money.' She paused dramatically.phrasespause (for) a momentHe paused for a moment, seemingly overcome by emotion.pause for breathShe had to pause for breath after every two or three steps.pause for thought'Of course, ' she replied, without pausing for thought.pause for effect (=in order to make people eager to hear what you are going to say)'Now I know what to do, ' Brown said, pausing for effect.pause only to do somethingHe paused only to make a few notes, and left.THESAURUSpause to stop speaking or stop doing something for a very short time before starting again. Pause is used especially in written descriptions. In everyday spoken English, people usually just say stopShe paused at the bottom of the stairs and looked up at the clock.He paused, waiting for Larry to say something.hesitate to stop for a moment and wait before doing something, because you feel unsure or nervous about itShe hesitated for a moment before replying.have/take a break to stop working for a short time in order to rest, eat etcWe’re all getting tired. Let’s take a break for ten minutes.adjourn formal if a meeting or court adjourns or is adjourned, it stops for a short timeIf there are no more questions, the committee will adjourn until tomorrow morning.The trial was adjourned because one of the defendants was ill.take five especially American English informal to stop for a short time in order to restLet’s take five and get some coffee.break off to suddenly stop speaking, especially because you see, hear, or think of somethingHe broke off his conversation when he saw Mary running towards him.She broke off and looked embarrassed, then said, ‘I’ll explain later.’ → See Verb table
Examples from the Corpuspause• Children can run through without pausing.• Her heart leaped into her mouth, and she paused.• Kim was reading her e-mail, but she paused and looked up when I came in.• Lawrence paused and turned to me: "Look, if you don't think it's a good idea, don't go."• Pausing briefly at the door, Linus straightened his tie.• Jill paused for a moment to look at her notes.• She talked for about twenty minutes without even pausing for breath.• The two girls paused, grimy and breathless, in the middle of the sick display.• Subjects might pause out of habit at points where it would be appropriate for them to pause when reading aloud.• There are ways of pausing records that really are interesting.• It was unusual for Hal to pause so long.• We waited while Graham paused to light a cigarette.• Arriving back at the cottage for the last time Ludens paused to look and listen.paused for breath• He spoke for one and half hours and barely paused for breath.• Thérèse dared to interrupt his strictures when he paused for breath.• They talked non-stop in an elaborate relay race, one picking up the thread as soon as the other paused for breath.• She paused for breath and found her hand on the grey standing stone.• Finding she couldn't unseat him, she paused for breath, anticipating her next devilry.• He paused for breath as he reached the landing, then continued.• Neither party paused for breath or parley.