c. 1300, "to bar or exclude temporarily from some function or privilege;" also "to set aside (a law, etc.), to cause to cease for a time," from Old French sospendre "remove from office; hang up" (12c.), or directly from Latin suspendere "to hang up, kill by hanging; make uncertain, render doubtful; stay, stop, interrupt, set aside temporarily," from assimilated form of sub "up from under" (see sub-) + pendere "to hang, cause to hang; weigh" (from PIE root *(s)pen- "to draw, stretch, spin"). In English, the literal sense of "to cause to hang by a support from above" is recorded from mid-15c. Related: Suspended; suspending.
updated on May 27, 2017