rest

1 of 4

noun (1)

1
: repose, sleep
specifically : a bodily state characterized by minimal functional and metabolic activities
2
a
: freedom from activity or labor
b
: a state of motionlessness or inactivity
c
: the repose of death
3
: a place for resting or lodging
4
: peace of mind or spirit
5
a(1)
: a rhythmic silence in music
(2)
: a character representing such a silence
b
: a brief pause in reading
6
: something used for support

Illustration of rest

Illustration of rest
  • 1 whole
  • 2 half
  • 3 quarter
  • 4 eighth
  • 5 sixteenth

rest

2 of 4

verb

rested; resting; rests

intransitive verb

1
a
: to get rest by lying down
especially : sleep
b
: to lie dead
2
: to cease from action or motion : refrain from labor or exertion
3
: to be free from anxiety or disturbance
4
: to sit or lie fixed or supported
a column rests on its pedestal
5
a
: to remain confident : trust
cannot rest on that assumption
b
: to be based or founded
the verdict rested on several sound precedents
6
: to remain for action or accomplishment
the answer rests with you
7
of farmland : to remain idle or uncropped
8
: to bring to an end voluntarily the introduction of evidence in a law case

transitive verb

1
: to give rest to
2
: to set at rest
3
: to place on or against a support
4
: to cause to be firmly fixed
rested all hope in his child
5
: to desist voluntarily from presenting evidence pertinent to (a case at law)
rester noun

rest

3 of 4

noun (2)

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

rest

4 of 4

noun (3)

: something that remains over : remainder
ate the rest of the candy
Phrases
at rest
1
: resting or reposing especially in sleep or death
2
3
: free of anxieties
for the rest
: with regard to remaining issues or needs

Example Sentences

Verb We will not rest until we discover the truth. The workers were resting in the shade. He is resting comfortably after his ordeal. She went to her room to rest for a while. The coach canceled practice to rest his team. He rested his horse before continuing the journey. You should rest your eyes after all that reading. The pitcher needs to rest his arm. The spoon was resting in the cup. The house rests on a concrete foundation. See More

Word History

Etymology

Noun (1)

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

Noun (2)

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

Noun (3)

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

First Known Use

Noun (1)

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1a

Noun (2)

14th century, in the meaning defined above

Noun (3)

15th century, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of rest was before the 12th century

Dictionary Entries Near rest

Cite this Entry

“Rest.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/rest. Accessed 28 Nov. 2022.

Kids Definition

rest 1 of 3

noun

1
2
a
: freedom from activity
b
: a state marked by lack of motion or activity
3
: a place for resting or lodging
4
a
: a silence in music equal in time to a note of the same name
b
: a character standing for such a silence
5
: something used for support
a head rest
at rest
: resting especially in sleep or death

rest

2 of 3

verb

1
a
: to get rest by lying down : sleep
b
: to give rest to
c
: to lie dead
2
: to not take part in work or activity
3
: to be free from anxiety or disturbance
4
: to place or be placed for or as if for support
5
a
: to be based or founded
b
: to fix or be fixed in hope or confidence
rested their hopes on their children
6
: to stop presenting evidence in a law case
the defense rests

rest

3 of 3

noun

: something that is left over or behind : remainder
ate the rest of the soup

Medical Definition

rest 1 of 3

noun

1
: a state of repose or sleep see bed rest
2
: cessation or temporary interruption of motion, exertion, or labor
rest from hard physical effort
a ten-minute rest period
3
: a bodily state (as that attained by a fasting individual lying supine) characterized by minimal functional and metabolic activities
the patient must have complete rest
4
: the part of a partial denture that rests on an abutment tooth, distributes stresses, and holds the clasp in position
5
: a firm but moldable cushion used to raise or support a portion of the body during surgery
a kidney rest

rest

2 of 3

intransitive verb

1
: to get rest by lying down
especially : sleep
2
: to cease from action or motion : refrain from labor or exertion

transitive verb

: to give rest to
rest your eyes

rest

3 of 3

noun

: a mass of surviving embryonic cells or of cells misplaced in development
most tumors derived from embryonic rests are benign Shields Warren

Legal Definition

: to bring to an end voluntarily the introduction of evidence in a case
the defense rests

transitive verb

: to cease presenting evidence pertinent to (a case)

More from Merriam-Webster on rest

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