respite

noun
re·​spite | \ˈre-spət also ri-ˈspīt, British usually ˈre-ˌspīt\

Definition of respite 

(Entry 1 of 3)

1 : a period of temporary delay

2 : an interval of rest or relief

respite

verb
respited; respiting

Definition of respite (Entry 2 of 3)

transitive verb

1 : to grant a temporary period of relief to : grant a respite to

2 : put off, delay

respite

adjective

Definition of respite (Entry 3 of 3)

: providing or being temporary care in relief of a primary caregiver respite care a respite worker

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Respite Has Latin Roots

Noun

Originally, beginning in the late 13th century, a respite was a delay or extension asked for or granted for a specific reason-to give someone time to deliberate on a proposal, for example. Such a respite offered an opportunity for the kind of consideration inherent in the word's etymology. "Respite" traces from the Latin term respectus, which comes from a verb meaning, both literally and figuratively, "to turn around to look at" or "to regard." By the 14th century, we had granted "respite" the sense we use most often today-"a welcome break."

Examples of respite in a Sentence

Noun

But in the middle of each semester there came a short respite, separate from the traditional holidays like Thanksgiving and Christmas. — Martha Southgate, The Fall of Rome, 2002 Six years more of toil they had to face before they could expect the least respite, the cessation of the payments upon the house … — Upton Sinclair, The Jungle, 1906 The laborer's day ends with the going down of the sun … but his employer, who speculates from month to month, has no respite from one end of the year to the other. — Henry David Thoreau, Walden, 1854 The bad weather has continued without respite.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

London is in the final stretch of an unusually hot summer, so last night Selfridges provided cool respite. Vogue, "England’s Most Stylish Celebrate Polly Pocket’s Fashionable Upgrade by Mimi Wade," 17 Aug. 2018 This respite from his research is quickly interrupted when his niece’s young son, Tano, goes missing in the city’s frigid streets. Will Boast, San Francisco Chronicle, "‘Happiness,’ by Aminatta Forna," 5 Apr. 2018 The co-op received a respite last month, when the D.C. City Council passed emergency legislation allowing it and similar parent-run co-ops to continue operating. The Editorial Board, WSJ, "The Play-Date Police," 16 Nov. 2018 Isla Mujeres, Mexico Located only seven miles off the Yucatán coast and a 20-minute ferry trip from Cancún, Isla Mujeres attracts beach-loving travelers looking for a respite from the area's high rises. Cnt Editors, Condé Nast Traveler, "The Best Islands in the World: 2018 Readers' Choice Awards," 9 Oct. 2018 Psychologists had counseled that the boys after their rescue in July should be given a six-month respite from being pressed to recount their experience for the sake of their mental health. Fox News, "Thai cave story moves to Bangkok mall with boys taking stage," 6 Sep. 2018 But a top-10 finish would earn him a respite from qualifying. Kelli Stacy, courant.com, "Chase Seiffert Earns Spot In Greenbrier With Top-10 Finish At Travelers," 24 June 2018 Addressing the initially skeptical subcommittee chairman, Sen. John Pastore, the lifelong Republican Rogers talks about his desire to give children a respite from the rest of the noise. Michael Phillips, chicagotribune.com, "'Won't You Be My Neighbor?' review: Celebrating a gentle giant of children's TV," 5 June 2018 The house, which was built in 1922, became party central for Capone and his cohorts, who needed respites from their Chicago day jobs of bootlegging, money laundering, prostitution and gambling. Rene Rodriguez, miamiherald, "Live like a gangster in Al Capone's former Miami Beach mansion for $15 million | Miami Herald," 17 Apr. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

For the next six months, weekly visits from nurses and aides gave my sister respite and helped us stay ahead of skin and bowel issues that had also brought us to ERs. Jeanne Erdmann, chicagotribune.com, "At 100, my mom had dementia and needed hospice care. Getting it was nearly impossible.," 8 May 2018 The clergy met them at a Catholic Charities respite center in McAllen, Texas. Molly Hennessy-fiske, latimes.com, "Trump ended separating families. But what's next?," 21 June 2018 Not knowing where to go, volunteers escort the group three blocks to the Catholic Charities respite center. CBS News, "Reunited migrant families try to figure out next steps at Texas shelter," 18 June 2018 For the next six months, weekly visits from nurses and aides gave my sister respite and helped us stay ahead of skin and bowel issues that had also brought us to ERs. Jeanne Erdmann, chicagotribune.com, "At 100, my mom had dementia and needed hospice care. Getting it was nearly impossible.," 8 May 2018 For the next six months, weekly visits from nurses and aides gave my sister respite and helped us stay ahead of skin and bowel issues that had also brought us to ERs. Jeanne Erdmann, chicagotribune.com, "At 100, my mom had dementia and needed hospice care. Getting it was nearly impossible.," 8 May 2018 For the next six months, weekly visits from nurses and aides gave my sister respite and helped us stay ahead of skin and bowel issues that had also brought us to ERs. Jeanne Erdmann, chicagotribune.com, "At 100, my mom had dementia and needed hospice care. Getting it was nearly impossible.," 8 May 2018 The cost varies, but expect to pay about $21 to $25 an hour for basic care-giving services, which include companion and personal care, pet care, help with bills, phone calls, and respite for caregivers, plus mileage if errands are part of the job. Erin Arvedlund, Philly.com, "Are you 60 or older in NE Philly? Join a free retirement community, and stay in your home," 10 May 2018 For the next six months, weekly visits from nurses and aides gave my sister respite and helped us stay ahead of skin and bowel issues that had also brought us to ERs. Jeanne Erdmann, chicagotribune.com, "At 100, my mom had dementia and needed hospice care. Getting it was nearly impossible.," 8 May 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

In addition to visiting the ORR facility, the Oregon Democrat toured a border processing center in McAllen, Texas, and a respite center run by the Sacred Heart Catholic Church. Maya Rhodan, Time, "Sen. Jeff Merkley: 'Zero Tolerance' Refugee Policy Is Actually 'Zero Humanity'," 4 June 2018 The comfy seats of our pickup were a welcome respite post-headliner performances. Taysha Murtaugh, Country Living, "Everything You Need to Know Before Attending a Country Music Festival," 1 June 2018 The Alzheimer’s Association provides tips on caregiving, how to get respite care and referrals for services. Michele Parente, sandiegouniontribune.com, "Resources for dementia caregivers," 27 Apr. 2018 Pomeroy, which already operates licensed overnight respite programs elsewhere with staff on duty seven days a week, has begun the process of applying for new licensing at 2626 Fulton, Cohen said. Carolyne Zinko, San Francisco Chronicle, "Troubled San Francisco charity selling off goods to fund new group home," 6 Mar. 2018 Children at area respite homes, including the Ronald McDonald House of Baltimore and Lifebridge Health’s Hackerman Patz’s house across from Sinai Hospital will receive the cards. Staff Report, The Aegis, "Adults, young people partner in Harford to make Valentine's Day cards for sick children," 14 Feb. 2018 For a time, the respite center staff wondered if the families would stop being released completely. Jessica Contrera, chicagotribune.com, "As border quiets, safe passage into the U.S. is still granted to some families," 25 June 2017 Having counseling and support services available to caregivers, as well as respite programs to temporarily relieve them of their responsibilities, could also help. Dhruv Khullar, New York Times, "Who Will Care for the Caregivers?," 19 Jan. 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'respite.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of respite

Noun

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Adjective

1978, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for respite

Noun

Middle English respit, from Anglo-French, from Medieval Latin respectus, from Latin, act of looking back — more at respect

Verb

see respite entry 1

Adjective

see respite entry 1

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Statistics for respite

Last Updated

9 Dec 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for respite

The first known use of respite was in the 13th century

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More Definitions for respite

respite

noun

English Language Learners Definition of respite

: a short period of time when you are able to stop doing something that is difficult or unpleasant or when something difficult or unpleasant stops or is delayed

respite

noun
res·​pite | \ˈre-spət \

Kids Definition of respite

1 : a short delay

2 : a period of rest or relief Matthias was glad of the brief respite after all the excitement.— Brian Jacques, Redwall

respite

noun
res·​pite | \ˈres-pət, ri-ˈspīt \

Legal Definition of respite 

in the civil law of Louisiana : a judicially approved or enforced agreement that provides a debtor with time or a delay for the payment of creditors

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More from Merriam-Webster on respite

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with respite

Spanish Central: Translation of respite

Nglish: Translation of respite for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of respite for Arabic Speakers

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