pausepause2 ●●● W2 noun [countable] 1 PAUSEa short time during which someone stops speaking or doing something before starting again There was a pause while Alice changed the tape. After a long pause, she went on.pause in an awkward pause in the conversation2 (also pause button) a control which allows you to stop a CD player, DVD player etc for a short time and start it again3 APMa mark ( ) over a musical note, showing that the note is to be played or sung longer than usual4 → give somebody pause (for thought)COLLOCATIONSadjectivesa long pauseThere was a long pause before anyone spoke.a brief/short/slight pause"Well, that was a surprise, " he said after a brief pause.a momentary pause (=very short)There was a momentary pause during which Mr Hammond glanced at his wife.an awkward pauseAfter an awkward pause, Ray began to answer my question.a dramatic pause (=one that has a dramatic effect)In the dramatic pause before she replied, you could feel the tension in the room.a pregnant pause (=one that is full of meaning or emotion)‘OK. Let’s move on, ’ said the president after a pregnant pause.
Examples from the Corpuspause• There was a pause in the conversation as everyone turned to say hello to Paul.• We worked for four hours without a pause.• After a brief pause, Sharon said, "You're right."• Balvinder Singh dropped me outside during a brief pause in the rain.• So if pauses are necessary, it is legitimate to ask what a speaker is doing during these periods of silence.• After a long pause, Barney said: "Yes, I suppose you're right."• There was a long pause, then, before it observed that some-thing was falling down toward it from the orbiting ship.• There was no pause among them, no need to conjure either the memory or the boat itself.• I said after a short pause.• Even seemingly innocuous turnstile-exits with interlocking horizontal bars give my sister pause, however.• The best he could do to simulate this pause for reflection, was to use repetition at certain points.long pause• After a long pause he looked up and saw the stones held tightly in their hands.• Then there was a long pause during which Sophie drank her coffee and avoided looking at her companion.• There was a long pause on the other end, and for a moment Quinn thought the caller had hung up.• There was a long pause, then, before it observed that some-thing was falling down toward it from the orbiting ship.• They heard him in the bathroom, running the water, then breaking a tumbler between long pauses.• The presence of the light was sufficient to reduce the number of long pauses by 35 percent.• In 1897, after an uncommonly long pause of more than four years, an eleventh son was born.• After an unnaturally long pause Constance became aware of this.