a short rest in the middle of a period of mental or physical effort After finishing one job she needed a breathing space before starting the next. This delay gives the party a breathing space in which to sort out its policies. 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 More Like This Compound nouns with –ing forms airing cupboard, answering machine, asking price, baking powder, betting shop, boarding school, booking office, bowling alley, breathing space, breeding ground, changing room, clotting factor, cutting room, draining board, drinking water, eating apple, housing estate, icing sugar, living room, meeting place, nursing home, punching bag, racing car, sleeping pill, starting point, tuning fork, waiting room, working partySee worksheet. Extra examplesThis delay gives the party a breathing space in which to sort out its policies.