early 15c., "a delay, a temporary rest in singing or speaking," from Old French pausee "a pause, interruption" (14c.) and directly from Latin pausa "a halt, stop, cessation," from Greek pausis "stopping, ceasing," from pauein "to stop (trans.), hold back, arrest, to cause to cease," a word of uncertain etymology with no certain cognates outside Greek [Beekes]. Later also "a hesitation proceeding from doubt or uncertainty;" hence to give (one) pause "cause to stop or hesitate" (c. 1600).
"make a temporary stop or intermission," 1520s, from pause (n.) and from French pauser, from Late Latin pausare "to halt, cease, pause," ultimately from Late Latin pausa. Related: Paused; pausing.