v. & n.
v. (stopped, stopping) 1 tr. a put an end to (motion etc.); completely check the progress or motion or operation of. b effectively hinder or prevent (stopped them playing so loudly). c discontinue (an action or sequence of actions) (stopped playing; stopped my visits). 2 intr. come to an end; cease (supplies suddenly stopped). 3 intr. cease from motion or speaking or action; make a halt or pause (the car stopped at the lights; he stopped in the middle of a sentence; my watch has stopped). 4 tr. cause to cease action; defeat. 5 tr. sl. receive (a blow etc.). 6 intr. remain; stay for a short time. 7 tr. (often foll. by up) block or close up (a hole or leak etc.). 8 tr. not permit or supply as usual; discontinue or withhold (shall stop their wages). 9 tr. (in full stop payment of or on) instruct a bank to withhold payment on (a cheque). 10 tr. Brit. put a filling in (a tooth). 11 tr. obtain the required pitch from (the string of a violin etc.) by pressing at the appropriate point with the finger. 12 tr. plug the upper end of (an organ-pipe), giving a note an octave lower. 13 tr. Bridge be able to prevent opponents from taking all the tricks in (a suit). 14 tr. make (a sound) inaudible. 15 tr. Boxing a parry (a blow). b knock out (an opponent). 16 tr. Hort. pinch back (a plant). 17 tr. make (a clock, factory, etc.) cease working. 18 tr. Brit. provide with punctuation. 19 tr. Naut. make fast; stopper (a cable etc.).
n. 1 the act or an instance of stopping; the state of being stopped (put a stop to; the vehicle was brought to a stop). 2 a place designated for a bus or train etc. to stop. 3 a punctuation mark, esp. = full stop (see FULL(1)). 4 a device for stopping motion at a particular point. 5 a change of pitch effected by stopping a string. 6 a (in an organ) a row of pipes of one character. b a knob etc. operating these. 7 a manner of speech adopted to produce a particular effect. 8 Optics & Photog. = DIAPHRAGM 3. 9 a the effective diameter of a lens. b a device for reducing this. c a unit of change of relative aperture or exposure (with a reduction of one stop equivalent to halving it). 10 (of sound) = PLOSIVE. 11 (in telegrams etc.) a full stop (see FULL(1)). 12 Bridge a card or cards stopping a suit. 13 Naut. a small line used as a lashing. put a stop to cause to end, esp. abruptly. stop at nothing be ruthless. stop by (also absol.) call at (a place). stop dead (or short) cease abruptly. stop down Photog. reduce the aperture of (a lens) with a diaphragm. stop-drill a drill with a shoulder limiting the depth of penetration. stop one's ears 1 put one's fingers in one's ears to avoid hearing. 2 refuse to listen. stop a gap serve to meet a temporary need. stop-go 1 alternate stopping and restarting of progress. 2 Brit. the alternate restriction and stimulation of economic demand. stop-knob a knob controlling an organ stop. stop lamp a light on the rear of a vehicle showing when the brakes are applied. stop light 1 a red traffic-light. 2 = stop lamp. stop a person's mouth induce a person by bribery or other means to keep silence about something. stop off (or over) break one's journey. stop out 1 stay out. 2 cover (part of an area) to prevent printing, etching, etc. stop payment declare oneself insolvent. stop press Brit. 1 (often attrib.) late news inserted in a newspaper after printing has begun. 2 a column in a newspaper reserved for this. stop valve a valve closing a pipe against the passage of liquid. stop-volley (esp. in lawn tennis) a checked volley close to the net, dropping the ball dead on the other side. with all the stops out exerting extreme effort. stopless adj. stoppable adj.
[ ME f. OE -stoppian f. LL stuppare STUFF: see ESTOP ]