1a cessation of movement or operation:all business came to a stopthere were constant stops and changes of pace
a break or halt during a journey:allow an hour or so for driving and as long as you like for stopsthe flight landed for a refuelling stop
a place designated for a bus or train to halt and pick up or set down passengers:the bus was pulling up at her stop
an object or part of a mechanism which is used to prevent something from moving:the shelves have special stops to prevent them from being pulled out too far
British dated a punctuation mark, especially a full stop.
used in telegrams to indicate a full stop:MEET YOU AT THE AIRPORT STOP
Phonetics a consonant produced with complete closure of the vocal tract:a bilabial stop [as modifier]:stop consonants
Bridge a high card that prevents the opponents from establishing a particular suit; a control:if West bids 3♥ now, this will show a heart stop
Nautical a short length of rope used to secure something; a stopper.
2a set of organ pipes of a particular tone and range of pitch.
(also stop knob) a knob, lever, or similar device in an organ or harpsichord which brings into play a set of pipes or strings of a particular tone and range of pitch.
3 Photography the effective diameter of a lens.
a device for reducing the effective diameter of a lens.
a unit of change of relative aperture or exposure (with a reduction of one stop equivalent to halving it).
1 [no object] (of an event, action, or process) come to an end; cease to happen:his laughter stopped as quickly as it had begunthe rain had stopped and the clouds had cleared
[with present participle] cease to perform a specified action or have a specified experience:she stopped giggling [with object]:he stopped work for tea
[with present participle] abandon a specified practice or habit:I’ve stopped eating meat
stop moving or operating:he stopped to look at the viewmy watch has stopped
(of a bus or train) call at a designated place to pick up or set down passengers:main-line trains stop at platform 7
British informal stay somewhere for a short time:you’ll have to stop the night
2 [with object] cause (an action, process, or event) to come to an end:this harassment has got to be stopped
prevent (an action or event) from happening:a security guard was killed trying to stop a raid
prevent or dissuade (someone) from continuing in an activity or achieving an aim:a campaign is under way to stop the bombers
[with object and present participle] prevent (someone or something) from performing a specified action or undergoing a specified experience:several attempts were made to stop him giving evidenceyou can’t stop me from getting what I want
cause or order to cease moving or operating:he stopped his car by the housepolice were given powers to stop and search suspects
informal be hit by (a bullet).
instruct a bank to withhold payment on (a cheque):he grew nervous about the deal and asked his bank manager to stop the cheque
refuse to supply as usual; withhold or deduct:they stopped the strikers' wages
Boxing defeat (an opponent) by a knockout:he was stopped in the sixth by Tyson
pinch back (a plant).
3 [with object] block or close up (a hole or leak):he tried to stop the hole with the heel of his bootthe stile has been stopped up
British dated put a filling in (a tooth).
block the mouth of (a fox’s earth) prior to a hunt.
plug the upper end of (an organ pipe), giving a note an octave lower.
obtain the required pitch from (the string of a violin or similar instrument) by pressing at the appropriate point with the finger.
make (a rope) fast with a stopper.
4 [no object]West Indian be or behave in a particular way:‘Why was she so?’ ‘I don’t know, you know how dem old people stop.’
[with complement] remain in a particular state or condition:he said I mustn’t stop barefooted, so I had to buy a pair of new shoes
pull out all the stops
make a very great effort to achieve something:we pulled out all the stops to meet the deadline
do something very elaborately or on a grand scale:they gave a Christmas party and pulled out all the stops
[with reference to the stops of an organ]
put a stop to
cause to end:she would have to put a stop to all this nonsense
stop at nothing
be utterly ruthless or determined in one’s attempt to achieve something:he would stop at nothing to retain his power
put one’s fingers in one’s ears to avoid hearing something:I stopped my ears but I still heard her cry
stop someone's mouth
induce someone to keep silent about something:even if the correspondent wanted to reveal the truth, patriotism as well as censorship would stop his mouth
instruct a bank to withhold payment on a cheque:the cheque has been certified, so you can’t stop payment
stop the show
(of a performer) provoke prolonged applause or laughter, causing an interruption:Diane stopped the show with her rendition of ‘You Made Me Love You’
stop by (or in)
call briefly and informally as a visitor:a nurse stopped by her room to see if she was asleepwould you mind if I stopped by this morning?she stopped in for a cup of tea
stop something down
Photography reduce the aperture of a lens with a diaphragm.
stop off (or over)
pay a short visit en route to one’s ultimate destination:I stopped off to visit him and his wife
1British informal stay out, especially longer or later than might be expected:it was the only evening for weeks that we stopped out
2North American withdraw temporarily from higher education or employment in order to pursue another activity:community college students are more likely to stop out, or drop out entirely, when the cost of attending increases
stop something out
cover an area that is not to be printed or etched when making a print or etching.
British informal refrain from going to bed; stay up:you used to let us stop up to watch the programme