What does suspense mean?

Definitions for suspense

Here are all the possible meanings and translations of the word suspense.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. suspense(noun)

    apprehension about what is going to happen

  2. suspense(noun)

    an uncertain cognitive state

    "the matter remained in suspense for several years"

  3. suspense(noun)

    excited anticipation of an approaching climax

    "the play kept the audience in suspense"


  1. suspense(Noun)

    the condition of being suspended

    Etymology: From suspens as in en suspens, from suspens.

  2. suspense(Noun)

    the pleasurable emotion of anticipation and excitement regarding the outcome or climax of a book, film etc

    Etymology: From suspens as in en suspens, from suspens.

  3. suspense(Noun)

    the unpleasant emotion of anxiety or apprehension in an uncertain situation

    Etymology: From suspens as in en suspens, from suspens.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Suspense(adj)

    held or lifted up; held or prevented from proceeding

    Etymology: [From F. suspens, a. See Suspense, a.]

  2. Suspense(adj)

    expressing, or proceeding from, suspense or doubt

    Etymology: [From F. suspens, a. See Suspense, a.]

  3. Suspense(adj)

    the state of being suspended; specifically, a state of uncertainty and expectation, with anxiety or apprehension; indetermination; indecision; as, the suspense of a person waiting for the verdict of a jury

    Etymology: [From F. suspens, a. See Suspense, a.]

  4. Suspense(adj)

    cessation for a time; stop; pause

    Etymology: [From F. suspens, a. See Suspense, a.]

  5. Suspense(adj)

    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

    Etymology: [From F. suspens, a. See Suspense, a.]


  1. Suspense

    Suspense is a feeling of pleasurable fascination and excitement mixed with apprehension, tension, and anxiety developed from an unpredictable, mysterious, and rousing source of entertainment. The term most often refers to an audience's perceptions in a dramatic work. Suspense is not exclusive to fiction. It may operate whenever there is a perceived suspended drama or a chain of cause is left in doubt, with tension being a primary emotion felt as part of the situation. In the kind of suspense described by film director Alfred Hitchcock, an audience experiences suspense when they expect something bad to happen and have a superior perspective on events in the drama's hierarchy of knowledge, yet they are powerless to intervene to prevent it from happening. Films having a lot of suspense belong in the thriller genre. In broader definitions of suspense, this emotion arises when someone is aware of his lack of knowledge about the development of a meaningful event; thus, suspense is a combination of anticipation and uncertainty dealing with the obscurity of the future. In terms of narrative expectations, it may be contrasted with mystery or curiosity and surprise. Suspense could however be some small event in a person's life, such as a child anticipating an answer to a request they've made, e.g., "May I get the kitty?". Therefore, suspense may be experienced to different degrees.

How to pronounce suspense?

  1. Alex
    US English

How to say suspense in sign language?

  1. suspense


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of suspense in Chaldean Numerology is: 2

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of suspense in Pythagorean Numerology is: 1

Examples of suspense in a Sentence

  1. Donald Trump:

    I think that’s traditionally the way it’s done. I like tradition and I think suspense is a good thing.

  2. Daniel J. Boorstin:

    The courage to imagine the otherwise is our greatest resource, adding color and suspense to all our life.

  3. Seneca, Letters to Lucilius V:

    Fear keeps pace with hope. Nor does their so moving together surprise me; both belong to a mind in suspense, to a mind in a state of anxiety through looking into the future. Both are mainly due to projecting our thoughts far ahead of us instead of adapting ourselves to the present. Thus it is that foresight, the greatest blessing humanity has been given, is transformed into a curse.

  4. Donald Trump on Wednesday:

    She's guilty of a very, very serious crime, she should not be allowed to run...What I'm saying now is I will tell you. I will keep you in suspense, okay?

  5. Victor Shum:

    The market is going to be held in suspense for a few weeks, there is going to be pressure on the participants in the meeting to ensure they achieve something. Otherwise they risk the support-market sentiment that we are seeing now dissipate rapidly.

Images & Illustrations of suspense

  1. suspensesuspensesuspensesuspensesuspense

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Translations for suspense

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

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