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Stop vs Cease vs Quit vs Discontinue vs Desist

Stopceasequitdiscontinuedesist are comparable when they mean to suspend or cause to suspend activity.

Stop applies primarily to action or progress or to what is thought of as moving or progressing; cease applies primarily to states and conditions or to what is thought of as being or as having existence; thus, a train stops but does not cease ; the noise it makes both stops and ceases ; one stops a car but may cease driving a car; one stops work on a book but ceases one’s efforts to perfect its style.

Stop frequently connotes a sudden or definite, cease a gradual suspension of activity.

Quit (see also GO ) may suggest finality in ceasing an activity, sometimes with an implication of accepting frustration or failure.

Discontinue implies the suspension of some activity, especially one that has become a form of occupation or employment or is a practice or habit.

Desist usually stresses forbearance or restraint as the motive for stopping or ceasing but it may imply the futility of one’s efforts.