Suspense meaning

sə-spĕns
Suspense is anxiety or a state of uncertainty or excitement about the resolution of something.

An example of suspense is wondering when the killer will strike while watching a horror movie.

noun
19
7
The state of being undecided or undetermined.
noun
14
4
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.
noun
11
4
(archaic) The state or quality of being undecided, uncertain, or indecisive.

The suspense of judgment.

noun
9
9
A state of usually anxious uncertainty, as in awaiting a decision.
noun
7
7
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The pleasurable emotion of anticipation and excitement regarding the outcome or climax of a book, film etc.
noun
4
3
The unpleasant emotion of anxiety or apprehension in an uncertain situation.
noun
4
4
Anxiety or apprehension resulting from an uncertain, undecided, or mysterious situation.

The suspense as they were announcing the winners was unbearable.

noun
4
5
The growing interest and excitement felt while awaiting a climax or resolution, as of a novel, play, series of events, etc.
noun
3
3
The condition of being suspended; cessation for a time.
noun
3
3
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(rare) Suspension or interruption, as of a legal right.
noun
2
3
(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.
noun
1
2
(obsolete) Held or lifted up; held or prevented from proceeding.
adjective
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(obsolete) Expressing, or proceeding from, suspense or doubt.
adjective
1
2

Origin of suspense

  • Middle English suspense delay, uncertainty from Old French souspense from souspens suspended from Latin suspēnsus past participle of suspendere to suspend suspend

    From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition

  • From Anglo-Norman suspens as in e suspens, from Old French suspens.

    From Wiktionary