1

respite

noun re·spite \ ˈre-spət also ri-ˈspīt , British usually ˈre-ˌspīt \
Updated on: 16 Nov 2017

Definition of respite

1 :a period of temporary delay
2 :an interval of rest or relief

respite was our Word of the Day on 09/11/2013. Hear the podcast!

Examples of respite in a Sentence

  1. But in the middle of each semester there came a short respite, separate from the traditional holidays like Thanksgiving and Christmas. —Martha SouthgateThe Fall of Rome2002
  2. 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 SinclairThe Jungle1906
  3. 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 ThoreauWalden1854
  4. The bad weather has continued without respite.

Recent Examples of respite from the Web

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.

respite Has Latin Roots

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."

Origin and Etymology of respite

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


2

respite

verb

Definition of respite

respited; respiting
transitive verb
1 :to grant a temporary period of relief to :grant a respite to

Recent Examples of respite from the Web

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.

Origin and Etymology of respite


3

respite

adjective

Definition of respite

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

Recent Examples of respite from the Web

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.

Origin and Etymology of respite


RESPITE Defined for English Language Learners

respite

noun

Definition of respite for English Language Learners

  • : 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 Defined for Kids

respite

noun res·pite \ ˈre-spət \

Definition of respite for Students

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

Law Dictionary

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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to praise usually to excess

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