To cease or suspend an action temporarily. To linger; tarry: paused for a while under the huge oak tree. To hesitate: He paused before replying. To cease or suspend the action of temporarily; stop for an interim: "Once a movie [ordered on demand] begins, it can be paused but not rewound or fast-forwarded\u201d ( George Judson). A temporary cessation. A delay or suspended reaction, as from uncertainty; a hesitation: After a pause the audience broke into cheers. A break, stop, or rest, often for a calculated purpose or effect: After a dramatic pause, the lawyer finished her summation. Music A sign indicating that a note or rest is to be held. A break or rest in a line of poetry; a caesura. Reason for hesitation: The immensity of the task gives one pause.