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stall - definition and synonyms

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verb     stall pronunciation in British English
Word Forms
present tense
present participlestalling
past tensestalled
past participlestalled
  1. 1
    [intransitive/transitive] if a vehicle or its engine stalls, or if the driver stalls it, it suddenly stops working because not enough power is reaching the engine

    The truck stalled on the hill.

    He managed to stall the car twice before finally driving away.

  2. 2
    [intransitive/transitive] mainly journalism if a process stalls, or if someone stalls it, it stops making progress

    Talks have stalled and both sides are preparing for war.

  3. 3
    [intransitive/transitive] to refuse to answer or decide something in order to gain more time

    ‘Do you know who it was?’ ‘Not yet,’ I stalled.

    stall on/over:

    Each side accused the other of stalling on planned prisoner exchanges.

    1. a.
      [transitive] to make someone wait or stay somewhere in order to gain more time

      If he calls again, try to stall him until I get there.


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