1. A usually short period of rest or relief. See Synonyms at pause.
a. Temporary suspension of the execution of a sentence.
b. Forbearance or delay, as granted in the payment of a debt.
tr.v. res·pit·ed, res·pit·ing, res·pites
1. To delay (a legal sentence, for example); postpone.
2. To grant a respite to (someone).
Relating to or being a respite: respite care.
[Middle English, from Old French respit, from Latin respectus, refuge, looking back; see RESPECT.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.