• Stop


    • RP enPR: stŏp, IPA: /stɒp/
    • GenAm enPR: stäp, IPA: /stɑp/
    • Rhymes: -ɒp

    Origin 1

    From Middle English stoppen, stoppien, from Old English stoppian ("to stop, close"), from Proto-Germanic *stuppōną ("to stop, close"), *stuppijaną ("to push, pierce, prick"), from Proto-Indo-European *stÁb(h)-, *stemb(h)- ("to support, stamp, become angry, be amazed"). Cognate with West Frisian stopje ("to stop"), Dutch stoppen ("to stop"), Low German stoppen ("to stop"), German stopfen ("to be filling, stuff"), German stoppen ("to stop"), Danish stoppe ("to stop"), Swedish & Icelandic stoppa ("to stop"), Middle High German stupfen, stüpfen ("to pierce"). More at stuff, stump.

    Alternate etymology derives Proto-Germanic *stuppōną from an assumed Vulgar Latin *stūpāre, *stuppāre ("to stop up with tow"), from stūpa, stīpa, stuppa ("tow, flax, oakum"), from Ancient Greek στύπη (stýpē), στύππη (stýppē, "tow, flax, oakum"), from Proto-Indo-European *steyə- ("to thicken, clump up, condense"). This derivation, however, is doubtful, as the earliest instances of the Germanic verb do not carry the meaning of "stuff, stop with tow". Rather, these senses developed later in response to influence from similar sounding words in Latin and Romance

    The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia, "stop".


    Full definition of stop


    1. (intransitive) To cease moving.
      • 1918, W. B. Maxwell, The Mirror and the Lamp Chapter 5, Then everybody once more knelt, and soon the blessing was pronounced. The choir and the clergy trooped out slowly, , down the nave to the western door. At a seemingly immense distance the surpliced group stopped to say the last prayer.
    2. I stopped at the traffic lights.
    3. (intransitive) To come to an end.The riots stopped when police moved in.Soon the rain will stop.
    4. (transitive) To cause (something) to cease moving or progressing.
      • 2013-06-01, Ideas coming down the track, A “moving platform” scheme...is more technologically ambitious than maglev trains even though it relies on conventional rails....This set-up solves several problems . Stopping high-speed trains wastes energy and time, so why not simply slow them down enough for a moving platform to pull alongside?
    5. The sight of the armed men stopped him in his tracks.This guy is a fraudster. I need to stop the cheque I wrote him.
    6. (transitive) To cause (something) to come to an end.The referees stopped the fight.
    7. (transitive) To close or block an opening.He stopped the wound with gauze.
    8. (transitive, intransitive, photography, often with "up" or "down") To adjust the aperture of a camera lens.To achieve maximum depth of field, he stopped down to an f-stop of 22.
    9. (intransitive) To stay; to spend a short time; to reside temporarily.to stop with a friend
      • R. D. Blackmoreby stopping at home till the money was gone
      • 1931, E. F. Benson, Mapp & Lucia, chapter 7She’s not going away. She’s going to stop here forever.”
    10. He stopped for two weeks at the inn.
    11. (intransitive) To tarry.He stopped at his friend's house before continuing with his drive.
    12. (music) To regulate the sounds of (musical strings, etc.) by pressing them against the fingerboard with the finger, or otherwise shortening the vibrating part.
    13. (obsolete) To punctuate.
      • Landorif his sentences were properly stopped
    14. (nautical) To make fast; to stopper.

    Usage notes

    This is a catenative verb that takes the gerund (-ing) or the to infinitive. See for more information.





    (plural stops)
    1. A (usually marked) place where line buses, trams or trains halt to let passengers get on and off.They agreed to see each other at the bus stop.
    2. An action of stopping; interruption of travel.That stop was not planned.
      • De FoeIt is doubtful ... whether it contributed anything to the stop of the infection.
      • Sir Isaac NewtonOccult qualities put a stop to the improvement of natural philosophy.
      • John LockeIt is a great step toward the mastery of our desires to give this stop to them.
    3. A device intended to block the path of a moving object; as, a door stop.
    4. (linguistics) A consonant sound in which the passage of air through the mouth is temporarily blocked by the lips, tongue, or glottis.
    5. A symbol used for purposes of punctuation and representing a pause or separating clauses, particularly a full stop, comma, colon or semicolon.
    6. That which stops, impedes, or obstructs; an obstacle; an impediment.Pull out all the stops.
      • DanielA fatal stop traversed their headlong course.
      • RogersSo melancholy a prospect should inspire us with zeal to oppose some stop to the rising torrent.
    7. A function that halts playback or recording in devices such as videocassette and DVD player.
    8. (by extension) A button that activates the stop function.
    9. (music) A knob or pin used to regulate the flow of air in an organ.The organ is loudest when all the stops are pulled.
    10. (tennis) A very short shot which touches the ground close behind the net and is intended to bounce as little as possible.
    11. (zoology) The depression in a dog’s face between the skull and the nasal bones.The stop in a bulldog's face is very marked.
    12. (photography) An f-stop.
    13. (engineering) A device, or piece, as a pin, block, pawl, etc., for arresting or limiting motion, or for determining the position to which another part shall be brought.
    14. (architecture) A member, plain or moulded, formed of a separate piece and fixed to a jamb, against which a door or window shuts.
    15. The diaphragm used in optical instruments to cut off the marginal portions of a beam of light passing through lenses.


    Derived terms



    1. Prone to halting or hesitation.He’s stop still.


    1. Used to indicate the end of a sentence in a telegram.

    Origin 2

    From Middle English stoppe, from Old English stoppa ("bucket, pail, a stop"), from Proto-Germanic *stuppô ("vat, vessel"), from Proto-Indo-European *(s)teub- ("to push, hit; stick, stump"). Cognate with Norwegian stopp, stoppa ("deep well, recess"), Middle High German stubech, stübich

    German Stübchen}. Related also to Middle Low German stōp ("beaker, flask"), Middle High German stouf ("beaker, flask"), Norwegian staupa ("goblet"), Icelandic staupa ("shot-glass"), Old English stēap ("a stoup, beaker, drinking vessel, cup, flagon"). Cognate to Albanian shtambë ("amphora, bucket"). See stoup.



    (plural stops)
    1. (UK dialectal) A small well-bucket; a milk-pail.


    © Wiktionary