Definition of respite noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//ˈrespaɪt//
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈrespɪt//
    [singular, uncountable]
    jump to other results
  1. 1respite (from something) a short break or escape from something difficult or unpleasant The drug brought a brief respite from the pain. There was no respite from the suffocating heat. She continued to work without respite. respite care (= temporary care arranged for old, mentally ill, etc. people so that the people who usually care for them can have a rest) Synonymsrestbreak respite time out breathing spaceThese are all words for a short period of time spent relaxing.rest a period of relaxing, sleeping or doing nothing after a period of activity:We stopped for a well-earned rest.break a short period of time when you stop what you are doing and rest or eat:Let’s take a break. In British English break is a period of time between lessons at school. The North American English word is recess.respite a short break from something difficult or unpleasant:The drug brought a brief respite from the pain.time out (informal, especially North American English) time for resting or relaxing away from your usual work or studies:Take time out to relax by the pool.breathing space a short rest in the middle of a period of mental or physical effort:This delay gives the party a breathing space in which to sort out its policies.Patterns (a) rest/​break/​respite/​time out from something to have/​take (a) rest/​break/​time out to give somebody (a) rest/​break/​respite/​breathing space
  2. 2a short delay allowed before something difficult or unpleasant must be done synonym reprieve His creditors agreed to give him a temporary respite.
  3. Word OriginMiddle English: from Old French respit, from Latin respectus ‘refuge, consideration’.Extra examples The storm continued for two hours without respite. The tablets brought temporary respite from the excruciating pain. They had no respite from the demands of their children. a brief respite from the ringing of the phone respite care
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: respite