- a delay or cessation for a time, especially of anything distressing or trying; an interval of relief: to toil without respite.
- temporary suspension of the execution of a person condemned to death; reprieve.
- to relieve temporarily, especially from anything distressing or trying; give an interval of relief from.
- to grant delay in the carrying out of (a punishment, obligation, etc.).
Origin of respite
SynonymsSee more synonyms for respite on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for respite
Scientific observation, rather than being a place of respite from fear, itself has become something else to rail against.Did One Liberian Prostitute Give Ebola to Eight Soldiers?
October 7, 2014
The Michigan waiver benefits include, besides the staff at home, respite care and environmental adaptations.The Mommy Blogger Who Tried to Kill Her Autistic Daughter Talks to Dr. Phil
October 1, 2014
There is no respite from the destruction as I drive into the UNRWA compound.Inside the Gaza Schoolyard Massacre
July 26, 2014
Saint Barthélemy, my annual winter respite, is my favorite of the Caribbean islands.We’d Rather Be in Beautiful—and Warm—St. Barts
January 26, 2014
Nearby businesses offered a respite from the chaos on the streets with Wi-Fi, cellphone charging, and good company.Boston Marathon Explosions: The Heroes Who Responded to the Blasts
April 16, 2013
He had got a reprieve, or a respite, and he felt like a boy--another kind of boy from what he had ever been.Questionable Shapes
William Dean Howells
And what passion can be durable which is so violent as hers, and to which no respite is allowed?Tales And Novels, Volume 8 (of 10)
Somebody played something on the piano, and this was, in a way, a respite for John.A Woman Intervenes
For them, there were no “weak, piping times of peace,”––no respite from danger.Chronicles of Border Warfare
Alexander Scott Withers
The priest thanked God for the respite He had been pleased to vouchsafe to him.Abbe Mouret's Transgression
- a pause from exertion; interval of rest
- a temporary delay
- a temporary stay of execution; reprieve
- (tr) to grant a respite to; reprieve
Word Origin and History for respite
mid-13c., from Old French respit "delay, respect" (Modern French répit), from Latin respectus "consideration, recourse, regard" (see respect (n.)).