Respite is a noun indicating a brief period of rest from something hard or unpleasant. In its legal meaning, respite can mean a reprieve of a sentence, especially in the case of a death sentence and the delay of a court appearance by a jury for further deliberation.
The word respite came into English from the Old French respit
, but respite ultimately originates from the Latin respectus
, which means "the act of looking back at".
The pronunciation of respite in British English differs from the pronunciation in American English.
In British English, the pronunciation of respite is ress-pite
The first syllable in respite is pronounced the same way in the US and the UK and the stress is also pronounced on the first syllable in both cases. The second syllable is pronounced differently: in British English it is pronounced as -pite
, which when pronounced rhymes with bite.
This is different from the American pronunciation of respite