Did you know?

Click any word in a definition or example to find the entry for that word

stop - definition and synonyms


What are red words?

90% of the time, speakers of English use just 7,500 words in speech and writing. These words appear in red, and are graded with stars. One-star words are frequent, two-star words are more frequent, and three-star words are the most frequent.



The thesaurus of synonyms and related words is fully integrated into the dictionary. Click on the thesaurus category heading under the button in an entry to see the synonyms and related words for that meaning.

verb stop pronunciation in American English /stɑp/
Word Forms
present tense
present participlestopping
past tensestopped
past participlestopped
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  1. 1
    [transitive] to prevent someone from doing something, or to prevent something from happening
    Policies like this aren’t going to stop crime.
    stop someone (from) doing something: A broken leg won’t stop me from going to the concert.
    there’s nothing to stop you: There’s nothing to stop you from asking him. He might agree.
    1. a.
      to prevent a payment from being made
      When they saw his work, they stopped payment on their check.
  2. 2
    [intransitive/transitive] to no longer do something
    We stopped work when we heard the alarm.
    stop doing something: I want to stop smoking.
    Suddenly everyone stopped talking.
    1. a.
      [intransitive] if something stops, it does not continue
      When the rain stops, I’m going out.
  3. 3
    [intransitive] to no longer move
    The car stopped at the traffic lights.
    Lots of people stopped and stared at the accident.
    Synonyms and related words
    1. a.
      [transitive] to ask someone to stop walking or driving so that you can talk to them
      I stopped a woman and asked her for directions.
      He was stopped for speeding.
    2. b.
      [intransitive] if a bus or train stops somewhere, it stops moving in order to let passengers on or off
      stop at: Does the train stop at terminal three?
    3. c.
      [intransitive] to pause while you are moving or doing something so that you can do something else
      He stopped and listened before opening the door.
      Did you ever stop to think what might happen?
      stop to do something: I stopped to get a drink of water.
      stop for: I stopped at the store for some cheese.
  4. 4
    [intransitive/transitive] to no longer work, or to cause something to no longer work
    My watch has stopped.
    Can you stop the engine?


a meal served in the evening which consists of foods traditionally eaten at breakfast

BuzzWord Article

Open Dictionary

troll factory

a company that pays its employees to write online comments in favour or against somebody or something posing as ordinary Internet users

add a word


A must for anyone with an interest in the changing face of language. The Macmillan Dictionary blog explores English as it is spoken around the world today.

global English and language change from our blog