a delay or cessation for a time, especially of anything distressing or trying; an interval of relief: to toil without respite.
temporary suspension of the execution of a person condemned to death; reprieve.
verb (used with object), respited, respiting.
to relieve temporarily, especially from anything distressing or trying; give an interval of relief from.
to grant delay in the carrying out of (a punishment, obligation, etc.).

1200–50; (noun) Middle English respit < Old French < Latin respectus (see respect); (v.) Middle English respiten < Old French respitier < Latin respectāre, frequentative of respicere to look back; see respect

unrespited, adjective

1. hiatus, rest, recess. 2. postponement, stay. 3. alleviate. 4. postpone, suspend. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
respite (ˈrɛspɪt, -paɪt)
1.  a pause from exertion; interval of rest
2.  a temporary delay
3.  a temporary stay of execution; reprieve
4.  (tr) to grant a respite to; reprieve
[C13: from Old French respit, from Latin respectus a looking back; see respect]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Cite This Source's 21st Century Lexicon
Main Entry:  respite1
Part of Speech:  n
Definition:  a delay or postponement
Etymology:  Latin respectus 'looking back'
Main Entry:  respite1
Part of Speech:  v
Definition:  to grant a respite to
Etymology:  Latin respectus 'looking back'
Usage:  transitive
Main Entry:  respite2
Part of Speech:  n
Definition:  a temporary suspension of punishment; reprieve
Etymology:  Latin respectus 'looking back'
Main Entry:  respite2
Part of Speech:  v
Definition:  to postpone, delay
Etymology:  Latin respectus 'looking back'
Usage:  transitive
Main Entry:  respite3
Part of Speech:  n
Definition:  a temporary rest or relief; pause
Etymology:  Latin respectus 'looking back''s 21st Century Lexicon
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Word Origin & History

late 13c., from O.Fr. respit "delay, respect," from L. respectus "consideration, recourse, regard" (see respect).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
One of the best places to find respite from the outside world is your garden.
The train was filthy and there was no respite from the dirt and heat.
His lodgings, provided by former students, made a welcome respite after days of
  grueling travel.
Perhaps this medication can allow a similar respite for people with persistent
  pain for which the cause no longer exists.
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