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WordReference Random House Learner's Dictionary of American English © 2016
res•pite /ˈrɛspɪt/USA pronunciation   n. 
  1. a delay;
    a period of relief: [countable]a brief respite from the pain.[uncountable]The music from the nightclub pounded without respite all night.
See -spec-.
WordReference Random House Unabridged Dictionary of American English © 2016
res•pite  (respit),USA pronunciation n., v.,  -pit•ed, -pit•ing. 
  1. a delay or cessation for a time, esp. of anything distressing or trying;
    an interval of relief:to toil without respite.
  2. temporary suspension of the execution of a person condemned to death;

  1. to relieve temporarily, esp. from anything distressing or trying;
    give an interval of relief from.
  2. to grant delay in the carrying out of (a punishment, obligation, etc.).
  • Latin respectāre, frequentative of respicere to look back; see respect
  • Old French respitier
  • Latin respectus (see respect); (verb, verbal) Middle English respiten
  • Old French
  • (noun, nominal) Middle English respit 1200–50
    • 1.See corresponding entry in Unabridged hiatus, rest, recess.
    • 2.See corresponding entry in Unabridged postponement, stay.
    • 3.See corresponding entry in Unabridged alleviate.
    • 4.See corresponding entry in Unabridged postpone, suspend.

Collins Concise English Dictionary © HarperCollins Publishers::

respite /ˈrɛspɪt -paɪt/ n
  1. a pause from exertion; interval of rest
  2. a temporary delay
  3. a temporary stay of execution; reprieve
  1. (transitive) to grant a respite to; reprieve
Etymology: 13th Century: from Old French respit, from Latin respectus a looking back; see respect


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