AskDefine | Define respite

Dictionary Definition



1 a (temporary) relief from harm or discomfort [syn: reprieve]
2 a pause from doing something (as work); "we took a 10-minute break"; "he took time out to recuperate" [syn: recess, break, time out]
3 an interruption in the intensity or amount of something [syn: suspension, reprieve, hiatus, abatement]
4 a pause for relaxation; "people actually accomplish more when they take time for short rests" [syn: rest, relief, rest period]
5 the act of reprieving; postponing or remitting punishment [syn: reprieve] v : postpone the punishment of a convicted criminal, such as an execution [syn: reprieve]

User Contributed Dictionary



  • (RP) /ˈɹɛˌspaɪt/
  • (US) /ˈɹɛspɪt/


  1. A brief interval of rest or relief
  2. A reprieve, especially from a sentence of death



to respite
  1. To delay or postpone something

Extensive Definition

Respite may be:
  • Respite (law), delay of sentence
  • Respite care, care provided as temporary replacement of a live-in caregiver
  • Respite (management), practice of allocating extraordinary resources toward recovery of workers from effects of unusual stress

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

abeyance, afterthought, bind, block, blockage, blow, break, breath, breather, breathing, breathing place, breathing space, breathing spell, breathing time, bureaucratic delay, caesura, catharsis, cease-fire, cigarette break, cleansing, cocktail hour, coffee break, day off, delay, delayage, delayed reaction, deliverance, detention, discharge, double take, downtime, dragging, drop, emotional release, enforced respite, extension, freeing, grace, grant a reprieve, half time, half-time intermission, halt, hang-up, happy hour, hesitation, hiatus, hindrance, holdup, holiday, interim, interlude, intermezzo, intermission, intermittence, interregnum, interruption, interval, jam, lag, lagging, lapse, layoff, letup, logjam, lull, moratorium, obstruction, off-time, paperasserie, pause, plateau, point of repose, postponement, purgation, purge, purging, quiet spell, recess, red tape, red-tapeism, red-tapery, release, relief, remission, removal, reprieve, rest, resting point, retardance, retardation, slow-up, slowdown, slowness, spell, stand-down, stay, stay of execution, stop, stoppage, surcease, suspension, tea break, tie-up, time lag, time off, time out, truce, vacation, wait
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