An example of suspense is wondering when the killer will strike while watching a horror movie.
- the state of being undecided or undetermined
- a state of usually anxious uncertainty, as in awaiting a decision
- the growing interest and excitement felt while awaiting a climax or resolution, as of a novel, play, series of events, etc.
- Rare suspension or interruption, as of a legal right
Origin of suspenseMiddle English from Middle French suspens, suspense, delay, deferring from Medieval Latin suspensum from Classical Latin suspensus, suspended, uncertain, literally , hung up, past participle of suspendere, to suspend
- Anxiety or apprehension resulting from an uncertain, undecided, or mysterious situation: The suspense as they were announcing the winners was unbearable.
- The quality in a work of narrative art, such as a novel or film, that causes the audience to experience pleasurable excitement and anticipation regarding an outcome.
- Archaic The state or quality of being undecided, uncertain, or indecisive: the suspense of judgment.
Origin of suspenseMiddle English suspense delay, uncertainty from Old French souspense from souspens suspended from Latin suspēnsus past participle of suspendere to suspend ; see suspend .
- The condition of being suspended; cessation for a time.
- the pleasurable emotion of anticipation and excitement regarding the outcome or climax of a book, film etc.
- The unpleasant emotion of anxiety or apprehension in an uncertain situation.
- (law) A temporary cessation of one's right; suspension, as when the rent or other profits of land cease by unity of possession of land and rent.
- (obsolete) Held or lifted up; held or prevented from proceeding.
- (obsolete) Expressing, or proceeding from, suspense or doubt.
From Anglo-Norman suspens as in e suspens, from Old French suspens.