Etymology
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suspense (n.)

c. 1400, "abeyance, temporary cessation; state of not being carried out" (of legal matters), from Anglo-French suspens (in en suspens "in abeyance," c. 1300), Old French sospense "delay, deferment (of judgment), act of suspending," from Latin suspensus, past participle of suspendere "to hang up; interrupt" (see suspend).

The meaning "state of mental uncertainty with more or less anxiety" (mid-15c.) is from legal meaning, perhaps via the notion of "awaiting an expected decision," or that of "state of having the mind or thoughts suspended." As a genre of novels, stories, etc., attested from 1951. The general sense of "state of being suspended" is by 1560s.

updated on September 07, 2022

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Definitions of suspense from WordNet

suspense (n.)
apprehension about what is going to happen;
suspense (n.)
an uncertain cognitive state;
the matter remained in suspense for several years
suspense (n.)
excited anticipation of an approaching climax;
the play kept the audience in suspense
Etymologies are not definitions. From wordnet.princeton.edu, not affiliated with etymonline.