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noun \ˈrest\

Definition of rest

  1. 1 :  repose, sleep; specifically :  a bodily state characterized by minimal functional and metabolic activities

  2. 2 a :  freedom from activity or labor b :  a state of motionlessness or inactivity c :  the repose of death

  3. 3 :  a place for resting or lodging

  4. 4 :  peace of mind or spirit

  5. 5 a (1) :  a rhythmic silence in music (2) :  a character representing such a silence b :  a brief pause in reading

  6. 6 :  something used for support

at rest
  1. 1 :  resting or reposing especially in sleep or death

  2. 2 :  quiescent, motionless

  3. 3 :  free of anxieties

Illustration of rest

Origin of rest

Middle English, from Old English; akin to Old High German rasta rest and perhaps to Old High German ruowa calm

First Known Use: before 12th century




Simple Definition of rest

  • : to stop doing work or an activity : to spend time relaxing, sleeping, or doing nothing after you have been active or doing work

  • : to give rest to (someone)

  • : to stop using (something) so that it can become strong again

Full Definition of rest

  1. intransitive verb
  2. 1 a :  to get rest by lying down; especially :  sleep b :  to lie dead

  3. 2 :  to cease from action or motion :  refrain from labor or exertion

  4. 3 :  to be free from anxiety or disturbance

  5. 4 :  to sit or lie fixed or supported <a column rests on its pedestal>

  6. 5 a :  to remain confident :  trust <cannot rest on that assumption> b :  to be based or founded <the verdict rested on several sound precedents>

  7. 6 :  to remain for action or accomplishment <the answer rests with you>

  8. 7 of farmland :  to remain idle or uncropped

  9. 8 :  to bring to an end voluntarily the introduction of evidence in a law case

  10. transitive verb
  11. 1 :  to give rest to

  12. 2 :  to set at rest

  13. 3 :  to place on or against a support

  14. 4 :  to cause to be firmly fixed <rested all hope in his child>

  15. 5 :  to desist voluntarily from presenting evidence pertinent to (a case at law)

rest·er noun

Examples of rest

  1. We will not rest until we discover the truth.

  2. The workers were resting in the shade.

  3. He is resting comfortably after his ordeal.

  4. She went to her room to rest for a while.

  5. The coach canceled practice to rest his team.

  6. He rested his horse before continuing the journey.

  7. You should rest your eyes after all that reading.

  8. The pitcher needs to rest his arm.

  9. The spoon was resting in the cup.

  10. The house rests on a concrete foundation.

Before 12th Century

First Known Use of rest

before 12th century




Definition of rest

  1. :  a projection or attachment on the side of the breastplate of medieval armor for supporting the butt of a lance

Origin of rest

Middle English reste, literally, stoppage, short for areste, from Anglo-French arest, from arester to arrest

First Known Use: 14th century




Definition of rest

  1. :  something that remains over :  remainder <ate the rest of the candy>

for the rest
  1. :  with regard to remaining issues or needs

Origin of rest

Middle English, from Anglo-French reste, from rester to remain, from Latin restare, from re- + stare to stand — more at stand

First Known Use: 15th century

Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up rest? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


February 8, 2016

to clear from accusation or blame

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