respite

A respite is a break from something that's difficult or unpleasant. If you're cramming for exams, take an occasional walk to give yourself a respite from the intensity.

Respite may look like it rhymes with despite, but this word has a stress on its first syllable (RES-pit). It comes from the Latin word respectus, meaning refuge, but we almost always use respite to describe a time, not a place, of relief. If you've been fighting with your partner, a visit from a friend might offer a brief respite from the argument, but the fight will pick up again when she leaves.

Definitions of respite
1

n a pause from doing something (as work)

Synonyms:
break, recess, time out
Types:
spring break
a week or more of recess during the spring term at school
Type of:
pause
temporary inactivity

n a pause for relaxation

Synonyms:
relief, rest, rest period
Types:
breath, breather, breathing place, breathing space, breathing spell, breathing time
a short respite
Type of:
break, intermission, interruption, pause, suspension
a time interval during which there is a temporary cessation of something

n a (temporary) relief from harm or discomfort

Synonyms:
reprieve
Type of:
ease, relief
the condition of being comfortable or relieved (especially after being relieved of distress)

n an interruption in the intensity or amount of something

Synonyms:
abatement, hiatus, reprieve, suspension
Types:
defervescence
abatement of a fever as indicated by a reduction in body temperature
remission, remittal, subsidence
an abatement in intensity or degree (as in the manifestations of a disease)
resolution
the subsidence of swelling or other signs of inflammation (especially in a lung)
Type of:
break, interruption
some abrupt occurrence that interrupts an ongoing activity

n the act of reprieving; postponing or remitting punishment

Synonyms:
reprieve
Type of:
clemency, mercifulness, mercy
leniency and compassion shown toward offenders by a person or agency charged with administering justice

v postpone the punishment of a convicted criminal, such as an execution

Synonyms:
reprieve
Type of:
defer, hold over, postpone, prorogue, put off, put over, remit, set back, shelve, table
hold back to a later time

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