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[sees] /sis/
verb (used without object), ceased, ceasing.
to stop; discontinue:
Not all medieval beliefs have ceased to exist.
to come to an end:
At last the war has ceased.
Obsolete. to pass away; die out.
verb (used with object), ceased, ceasing.
to put a stop or end to; discontinue:
He begged them to cease their quarreling.
The noise of the drilling went on for hours without cease.
Origin of cease
1250-1300; Middle English ces(s)en < Old French cesser < Latin cessāre to leave off, equivalent to cess(us) (past participle of cēdere to withdraw, go; ced- go + -tus past participle suffix) + -ā- thematic vowel + -re infinitive ending; see cede
Related forms
unceased, adjective
2. terminate, end, culminate.
1, 2. begin. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for ceasing
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Do you believe in opening and ceasing fire at the will of the commander as on the drill ground?

    Battle Studies Charles-Jean-Jacques-Joseph Ardant du Picq
  • Clotilde, herself, ceasing to smile, seemed to listen to him with deference.

    Doctor Pascal Emile Zola
  • So, ceasing his recriminations, he began to describe what he styled his explanation with Madame d'Argeles.

  • It seemed to him that he was hearing his father's voice, speaking and ceasing to speak again.

    Victory Joseph Conrad
  • She was also to sign an agreement whereby she would forfeit the crown "in case of my ceasing to observe these engagements."

    The Story of Russia R. Van Bergen, M.A.
  • Then ceasing to think of Esther she began thinking of herself.

  • Lia ceasing to bear, giveth also her handmaid, and she beareth two more.

British Dictionary definitions for ceasing


when tr, may take a gerund or an infinitive as object. to bring or come to an end; desist from; stop
without cease, without stopping; incessantly
Word Origin
C14: from Old French cesser, from Latin cessāre, frequentative of cēdere to yield, cede
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for ceasing



c.1300, cesen, from Old French cesser "to come to an end, stop, cease; give up, desist," from Latin cessare "to cease, go slow, give over, leave off, be idle," frequentative of cedere (past participle cessus) "go away, withdraw, yield" (see cede). Related: Ceased; ceasing. Old English in this sense had geswican, blinnan.


"cessation, stopping," c.1300, from cease (n.) or else from Old French cesse "cease, cessation," from cesser.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Idioms and Phrases with ceasing


In addition to the idiom beginning with cease also see: wonders will never cease
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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