Etymology
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ceaseless (adj.)

"without a stop or pause; unending, endless, enduring forever," 1580s, from cease (n.) + -less. Related: Ceaselessly; ceaselessness.

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demurrer (n.)

1530s, "a pause, a delay" (a sense now obsolete); 1540 as legal pleading to the effect that, even conceding the facts to be as alleged by the opponent, he is not entitled to legal relief, from Anglo-French demurrer, Old French demorer "to delay, retard," from Latin demorari "to linger, loiter, tarry," from de- (see de-) + morari "to delay," from mora "a pause, delay" (see moratorium). Transferred sense of "objection raised or exception taken" to anything is by 1590s.

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ellipsis (n.)

1560s, "an ellipse" in geometry, from Latin ellipsis, from Greek elleipsis "a falling short, defect, ellipse in grammar," noun of action from elleipein "to fall short, leave out," from en- "in" (see en- (1)) + leipein "to leave" (from PIE root *leikw- "to leave").

Grammatical and rhetorical sense in English first recorded 1610s: "a figure of syntax in which a part of a sentence or phrase is used for the whole, by the omission of one or more words, leaving the full form to be understood or completed by the reader or hearer."

In printing, "a mark or marks denoting the omission of letters, words, or sentences," by 1867. Dashes, asterisks, and period have been used to indicate it. In reading aloud, a short pause was proper at a grammatical ellipsis in the writing.

WHEN a word or words are omitted by the figure ellipsis, a pause is necessary where the ellipsis occurs. [Robert James Ball, "The Academic Cicero; or Exercises in Modern Oratory," Dublin, 1823] 

Probably the association of the typographical symbol with a pause in speaking is why 20c. writers began to use the three periods to denote a pause or an interruption in dialogue, creating a potential confusion noted by 1939. Related: Ellipticity.

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selah 

1520s, a transliterated Hebrew word occurring frequently at the end of verse in Psalter. Supposed to be a liturgical direction, perhaps meaning "pause," or perhaps a musical direction to raise the voice (compare Hebrew base s-l-l "to raise, lift").

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interruption (n.)
late 14c., "a break of continuity," from Latin interruptionem (nominative interruptio) "a breaking off, interruption, interval," noun of action from past participle stem of interrumpere "to break apart, break off" (see interrupt (v.)). Meaning "a breaking in upon some action" is from c. 1400; that of "a pause, a temporary cessation" is early 15c.
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demurrage (n.)

"any detention of a vessel by the freighter in loading or unloading beyond the time originally stipulated" [Century Dictionary], 1640s, from Old French demorage, from demorer "to stay, delay, retard," from Latin demorari "to linger, loiter, tarry," from de- (see de-) + morari "to delay," from mora "a pause, delay" (see moratorium). Also "a payment in compensation by the freighter for such a delay."

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epoch (n.)
1610s, epocha, "point marking the start of a new period in time" (such as the founding of Rome, the birth of Christ, the Hegira), from Medieval Latin epocha, from Greek epokhe "stoppage, fixed point of time," from epekhein "to pause, take up a position," from epi "on" (see epi-) + ekhein "to hold" (from PIE root *segh- "to hold"). Transferred sense of "a period of time" is 1620s; geological usage (not a precise measurement) is from 1802.
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avast (interj.)

1680s, a nautical interjection, "hold! stop!" probably worn down from Dutch houd vast "hold fast." See hold (v.) + fast (adv.).

AVAST. — The order to stop, or pause, in any exercise or operation; as Avast heaving — that is to say, desist, or stop, from drawing in the cable or hawser, by means of the capstan &c. [George Biddlecombe, "The Art of Rigging," 1848]
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menopause (n.)

"the final cessation of the monthly courses of women," 1852 (from 1845 as a French word in English), from French ménopause, from medical Latin menopausis, from Greek mēn (genitive mēnos) "month" (from PIE *mehnes- "moon, month," from root *me- (2) "to measure," via the notion of the moon as the measurer of time) + pausis "a cessation, a pause," from pauein "to cause to cease," a word of uncertain etymology with no certain cognates outside Greek [Beekes]. Earlier it was change of life (1834).

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moratorium (n.)

1875, originally a legal term for "authorization to a debtor to postpone due payment," from neuter of Late Latin moratorius "tending to delay," from Latin morari "to delay," from mora "pause, delay," from PIE *morh- "to hinder, delay" (source also of Sanskrit amurchat "to congeal, become solid;" Old Irish maraid "lasts, remains"). The word didn't come out of italics until 1914. General sense of "a postponement, deliberate temporary suspension" is recorded by 1932. Related: Moratorial.

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