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See also: Suspension and suspensión



The treble C indicated in red has been held over from the first chord into the second chord, thus creating a suspension (sense 6)
A suspension (sense 8) in topology. The blue lines indicate the original space, and the green lines the end points which have collapsed to points
The rear suspension (sense 10) of the Bandini 1100, a car first produced in Italy in 1946


From Late Latin suspensiō, suspensiōnem (arching, vaulting; suspension), from suspendēre, from suspendō (to hang up, to suspend), from sub- (prefix meaning ‘under) + pendere (from pendō (to hang, to suspend), from Proto-Italic *pendō (to hang, to put in a hanging position), from Proto-Indo-European *(s)pénd-e-ti, from *(s)pend- (to pull; to spin)). Compare Anglo-Norman suspensiun, French suspension, Occitan suspensio.



suspension (countable and uncountable, plural suspensions)

  1. The act of suspending, or the state of being suspended.
    suspension from a hook
  2. A temporary or conditional delay, interruption or discontinuation.
    • 1983 September, “Recycled Materials Program in Response to the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act”, in Harvey Yakowitz, editor, The National Bureau of Standards Office of Recycled Materials, 1976–1982 (NBS Special Publication; 662), Washington, D.C.: United States Government Printing Office, OCLC 711639795, page 52:
      Fear of dioxin emissions led to suspension of efforts to establish a waste-to-energy plant at the Brooklyn Navy yard.
  3. The state of a solid or substance produced when its particles are mixed with, but not dissolved in, a fluid, and are capable of separation by straining.
    • 2011 August 8, M. W. Hubbell, “Chemistry”, in The Fundamentals of Nuclear Power Generation: Questions and Answers, Bloomington, Ind.: AuthorHouse, →ISBN, page 216:
      As the solids clump together, they get heavier causing them to fall out of suspension in the water.
  4. The act of keeping a person who is listening in doubt and expectation of what is to follow.
  5. (education) The process of barring a student from school grounds as a form of punishment (particularly out-of-school suspension).
    suspension from school as a disciplinary measure
  6. (music) The act of or discord produced by prolonging one or more tones of a chord into the chord which follows, thus producing a momentary discord, suspending the concord which the ear expects.
    • 2007, Zoe Browder Doll, “Phantom Rhythms, Hidden Harmonies: The Use of the Sostenuto Pedal in Berio’s Sequenza IV for Piano, Leaf and Sonata”, in Janet K. Halfyard, editor, Berio's Sequenzas: Essays on Performance, Composition and Analysis, Aldershot, Hampshire; Burlington, Vt.: Ashgate Publishing, →ISBN, page 62:
      As in Sequenza IV, the suspension of the chord creates several different layers of activity, which can be understood by looking at the right hand's chord in bar two.
  7. (Scots law) A stay or postponement of the execution of a sentence, usually by letters of suspension granted on application to the Lord Ordinary.
  8. (topology) A topological space derived from another by taking the product of the original space with an interval and collapsing each end of the product to a point.
    • 2012, H. Rasmussen, “Strategy-proofness of Continuous Aggregation Maps”, in Geoffrey M. Heal, editor, Topological Social Choice: With 45 Figures (Social Choice and Welfare; vol. 14, no. 2, 1997), Berlin: Springer-Verlag, DOI:10.1007/978-3-642-60891-9, →ISBN, page 110:
      To get an intuitive feeling for the characteristics of  -spaces, it is instructive to consider an important class of such spaces, the suspensions. The suspension of an arbitrary topological space   is defined to be the quotient space of   where   is identified to one point and   is identified to another point. For example, the suspension of a circle is a cylinder with the two ends collapsed into one point each; in other words, a space homeomorphic to a sphere.
  9. (topology) A function derived, in a standard way, from another, such that the instant function's domain and codomain are suspensions of the original function's.
    • 2010, Paul Arne Østvær, “Preliminaries”, in Homotopy Theory of C*-Algebras (Frontiers in Mathematics), Basel: Birkhäuser, Springer Basel, DOI:10.1007/978-3-0346-0565-6, →ISBN, page 17:
      A model category is called pointed if the initial object and terminal object are the same. The homotopy category of any pointed model category acquires a suspension functor denoted by  . It turns out that   is a pre-triangulated category in a natural way []. When the suspension is an equivalence,   is called a stable model category, and in this case   becomes a triangulated category [].
  10. (vehicles) The system of springs and shock absorbers connected to the wheels in an automobile or car, which allows the vehicle to move smoothly with reduced shock to its occupants.
    • 2011, Chuck Edmondson, “Steering and Suspension”, in Fast Car Physics, Baltimore, Md.: The Johns Hopkins University Press, →ISBN, page 151:
      If you drive over a speed bump, the left and right tires push the suspension upward at the same time.


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  1. Genitive singular form of suspensio.



Borrowed from Latin suspensiō, suspensiōnem.


suspension f (plural suspensions)

  1. suspension (all senses)

Related termsEdit