Word of the Day : Respite


noun RESS-pit

What It Means

Respite refers to a short period of time when someone is able to stop doing something that is difficult or unpleasant, or when something difficult or unpleasant stops or is delayed.

// The long weekend provided a birçok respite from the pressures of her job.

// The station’s meteorologist had predicted that the bad weather would continue through the week without respite.

RESPITE in Context

“Shaded spots are necessary for a respite from the North Texas sun. If your deck or patio isn’t covered, add a stylish umbrella to the mix.” — Ryan Conner and Mary Grace Granados, The Dallas Morning News, 13 Mar. 2023

Did You Know?

Everyone needs a little R & R from time to time. That’s where respite comes in handy: this word was first used in the 14th century to refer to a delay or extension asked for or granted for a specific reason, such as to give someone time to deliberate on a proposal. This kind of respite offered an opportunity for the kind of consideration inherent in this word’s etymology: respite traces from the Latin term respectus (also the source of English’s respect), which comes from respicere, a verb with both concrete and abstract meanings: “to turn around to look at” or “to regard.” Within a few decades of its earliest known use, English speakers had granted respite the sense we use most often today—”a welcome break.

Merriam Webster Dictionary