Definition of respite in English:

respite

Syllabification: res·pite
Pronunciation: /ˈrespət, riˈspīt
 
/

noun

  • 1A short period of rest or relief from something difficult or unpleasant: the refugee encampments will provide some respite from the suffering [in singular]: a brief respite from a dire food shortage
    More example sentences
    • Charlie wasn't sure if she should try to keep the girl awake or not, but at last decided to give her respite from the pain by letting her rest.
    • Everyone is scurrying for shade and some respite from the sun.
    • Colourful deck umbrellas offer respite from the heat.
    Synonyms
    rest, break, breathing space, interval, intermission, interlude, recess, lull, pause, time out; relief, relaxation, repose
    informal breather, letup
  • 1.1A short delay permitted before an unpleasant obligation is met or a punishment is carried out.
    More example sentences
    • That is only temporary respite, until cheaper ‘sewing solutions’ drive them out again.
    • This respite was temporary - as it had been so many other times before.
    • At best, the country has gained a temporary respite; at worst, it has merely succeeded in stoking the flames of hatred even higher.
    Synonyms
    postponement, deferment, delay, reprieve; Law continuance

verb

[with object] rare Back to top  
  • 1Postpone (a sentence, obligation, etc.): the execution was only respited a few months
    More example sentences
    • That of 1320 was respited as a result of the appeal usually known as the ‘declaration of Arbroath’; from then on, the pope was prepared at least to give King Robert his proper title.
    • The debate of it was respited to the next meeting, it being late.
    • I looked at the case it's referring to and the judgement was respited, so you're right to tag it up as supplementary.
  • 1.1 archaic Grant a delay or extension of time to; reprieve from death or execution: some poor criminal ... from the gibbet or the wheel, respited for a day
    More example sentences
    • The rare exception made for pregnant women in Jamaica was that they were ‘respited… from execution until after their pregnancy’.
    • Women, therefore, who were quick with child, and convicted of capital crimes, were respited until after delivery.
    • Considerable influence was exerted to save her from the death sentence and in the end it was respited, though the records do not tell her ultimate fate.

Origin

Middle English: from Old French respit, from Latin respectus 'refuge, consideration'.

More definitions of respite

Definition of respite in:

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove ads and access premium resources

Word of the day kerf
Pronunciation: kərf
noun
a slit made by cutting with a saw