[ res-pit ]
/ ˈrɛs pɪt /


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.

verb (used with object), res·pit·ed, res·pit·ing.

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

1200–50; (noun) Middle English respit < Old French < Latin respectus (see respect); (v.) Middle English respiten < Old French respitier < Latin respectāre, frequentative of respicere to look back; see respect


un·res·pit·ed, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

Example sentences from the Web for respite

British Dictionary definitions for respite

/ (ˈrɛspɪt, -paɪt) /


a pause from exertion; interval of rest
a temporary delay
a temporary stay of execution; reprieve


(tr) to grant a respite to; reprieve

Derived forms of respite

respiteless, adjective

Word Origin for respite

C13: from Old French respit, from Latin respectus a looking back; see respect
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012