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.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.Origin pause2 (1400-1500) Latin pausa, from Greek pausis, from pauein “to stop”