Roget's 21st Century Thesaurus, Third Edition Copyright © 2013 by the Philip Lief Group.


You know we wouldn't think of stopping when it may mean life or death to you.

On stopping and listening, I soon heard some person calling hogs.

Burke retorted, with the effect of stopping the other short.

Crane must know that it was his implied desires that had led up to the stopping of Lucretia.

Stopping for a bite to eat in the kitchen, Linda went back to her room.

Of the bullet it may be said, that its stopping power is all that could be desired.

The youngster had a way of stopping for no reason whatever and just standing there.

"But I have not the courage to hear you, my dear," said Lady Delacour, stopping her ears.

I didn't blame him for stopping up there on his sheepskin, eye to eye with the girl.

Bob answered eagerly, stopping his work to take the sentence in fully.


Old English -stoppian (in forstoppian "to stop up, stifle"), a general West Germanic word (cf. West Frisian stopje, Middle Low German stoppen, Old High German stopfon, German stopfen "to plug, stop up," Old Low Frankish (be)stuppon "to stop (the ears)"), but held by many sources to be a borrowing from Vulgar Latin *stuppare "to stop or stuff with tow or oakum" (cf. Italian stoppare, French étouper "to stop with tow"), from Latin stuppa "coarse part of flax, tow." Plugs made of tow were used from ancient times in Rhine valley. Barnhart, at least, proposes the whole Germanic group rather might be native, from a base *stoppon.

Sense of "bring or come to a halt" (mid-15c.) is from notion of preventing a flow by blocking a hole, and the word's development in this sense is unique to English, though it since has been widely adopted in other languages; perhaps influenced by Latin stupere "be stunned, be stupefied." Stop-and-go (adj.) is from 1926, originally a reference to traffic signals.


Roget's 21st Century Thesaurus, Third Edition Copyright © 2013 by the Philip Lief Group.