At rest

the refreshing quiet or repose of sleep:
a good night’s rest.
refreshing ease or inactivity after exertion or labor:
to allow an hour for rest.
relief or freedom, especially from anything that wearies, troubles, or disturbs.
a period or interval of inactivity, repose, solitude, or tranquillity:
to go away for a rest.
mental or spiritual calm; tranquillity.
the repose of death:
eternal rest.
cessation or absence of motion:
to bring a machine to rest.

an interval of silence between tones.
a mark or sign indicating it.

Prosody. a short pause within a line; caesura.
a place that provides shelter or lodging for travelers, as an inn.
any stopping or resting place:
a roadside rest for weary hikers.
a piece or thing for something to rest on:
a hand rest.
a supporting device; support.
Billiards, Pool. 1 (def 14).
to refresh oneself, as by sleeping, lying down, or relaxing.
to relieve weariness by cessation of exertion or labor.
to be at ease; have tranquillity or peace.
to repose in death.
to be quiet or still.
to cease from motion, come to rest; stop.
to become or remain inactive.
to stay as is or remain without further action or notice:
to let a matter rest.
to lie, sit, lean, or be set:
His arm rested on the table.
Agriculture. to lie fallow or unworked:
to let land rest.
to be imposed as a burden or responsibility (usually followed by on or upon).
to rely (usually followed by on or upon).
to be based or founded (usually followed by on or upon).
to be found; belong; reside (often followed by with):
The blame rests with them.
to be present; dwell; linger (usually followed by on or upon):
A sunbeam rests upon the altar.
to be fixed or directed on something, as the eyes, a gaze, etc.
Law. to terminate voluntarily the introduction of evidence in a case.
to give rest to; refresh with rest:
to rest oneself.
to lay or place for rest, ease, or support:
to rest one’s back against a tree.
to direct (as the eyes):
to rest one’s eyes on someone.
to base, or let depend, as on some ground of reliance.
to bring to rest; halt; stop.
Law. to terminate voluntarily the introduction of evidence on:
to rest one’s case.
at rest,

in a state of repose, as in sleep.
quiescent; inactive; not in motion:
the inertia of an object at rest.
free from worry; tranquil:
Nothing could put his mind at rest.

lay to rest,

to inter (a dead body); bury:
He was laid to rest last Thursday.
to allay, suppress, or appease.


relaxation from exertion or labour
(as modifier): a rest period

repose; sleep
any relief or refreshment, as from worry or something troublesome
calm; tranquillity
death regarded as repose: eternal rest
cessation from motion
at rest

not moving; still
calm; tranquil

a pause or interval
a mark in a musical score indicating a pause of specific duration
(prosody) a pause in or at the end of a line; caesura
a shelter or lodging: a seaman’s rest
a thing or place on which to put something for support or to steady it; prop
(billiards, snooker) any of various special poles used as supports for the cue in shots that cannot be made using the hand as a support
come to rest, to slow down and stop
lay to rest, to bury (a dead person)
set someone’s mind at rest, to reassure someone or settle someone’s mind
to take or give rest, as by sleeping, lying down, etc
to place or position (oneself, etc) for rest or relaxation
(transitive) to place or position for support or steadying: to rest one’s elbows on the table
(intransitive) to be at ease; be calm
to cease or cause to cease from motion or exertion; halt
to lie dead and buried
(intransitive) to remain without further attention or action: let the matter rest
to direct (one’s eyes) or (of one’s eyes) to be directed: her eyes rested on the sleeping child
to depend or cause to depend; base; rely: the whole argument rests on one crucial fact
to place or be placed, as blame, censure, etc
to put pastry in a cool place to allow the gluten to contract
(intransitive; foll by with, on, upon, etc) to be a responsibility (of): it rests with us to apportion blame
(law) to finish the introduction of evidence in (a case)
rest on one’s laurels, See laurel (sense 9)
rest on one’s oars

to stop rowing for a time
to stop doing anything for a time

noun the rest
something left or remaining; remainder
the others: the rest of the world
(copula) to continue to be (as specified); remain: rest assured

“sleep,” Old English ræste, reste “rest, bed, intermission of labor, mental peace,” common Germanic (cf. Old Saxon resta “resting place, burial-place,” Dutch rust, Old High German rasta, German Rast “rest, peace, repose”), of uncertain origin.

Original sense seems to be a measure of distance (cf. Old High German rasta, which in addition to “rest” meant “league of miles,” Old Norse rost “league, distance after which one rests,” Gothic rasta “mile, stage of a journey”), perhaps a word from the nomadic period. Unless the original sense is “repose,” thence extended secondarily to “distance between two resting place.”

The meaning “support, thing upon which something rests” is attested from 1580s. At rest “dead” is from mid-14c., on the notion of “last rest.” Rest stop is from 1973. Colloquial expression to give (something) a rest “to stop talking about it” is first recorded 1927, American English.

“remainder, that which is left after a separation,” early 15c., from Middle French reste “remnant,” from rester “to remain” (see rest (v.2)). Meaning “others, those not included in a proposition” is from 1530s.

“repose, cease from action,” Old English ræstan, restan “take repose by lying down; lie in death or in the grave; cease from motion, work, or performance; be without motion; be undisturbed, be free from what disquiets; stand or lie as upon a support or basis,” from root of rest (n.1). Transitive senses “give repose to; lay or place, as on a support or basis” are from early 13c. Meaning “cease from, have intermission” is late 14c., also “rely on for support.” Related: Rested; resting. Common Germanic, cf. Old Frisian resta, Dutch rusten, Old High German raston, German rasten, Swedish rasta, Danish raste “to rest.” Resting place is from mid-14c.

“to be left, remain,” mid-15c., from Old French rester “to remain,” from Latin restare “stand back, be left,” from re- “back” (see re-) + stare “to stand” (see stet). Partially confused and merged with the other verb rest. Sense of “to continue to be” is in rest assured. Transitive sense of “to keep, cause to continue to remain” was common in 16c.-17c., “used with a predicate adjective following and qualifying the object” [Century Dictionary], hence phrase rest you merry (1540s); God rest you merry, gentlemen, often is mis-punctuated.

rest (rěst)

Cessation of work, exertion, or activity.

Peace, ease, or refreshment resulting from sleep or the cessation of an activity.

Sleep or quiet relaxation.

Mental or emotional tranquillity.

A device used as a support, as for the back.

A group of embryonic cells or a portion of fetal tissue that has become displaced during development.

An extension from a prosthesis that gives vertical support to a dental restoration.

v. rest·ed, rest·ing, rests

To cease motion, work, or activity.

To lie down, especially to sleep.

To be supported or based; lie, lean, or sit.

Related Terms

give it a rest

(1.) Gr. katapausis, equivalent to the Hebrew word _noah_ (Heb. 4:1). (2.) Gr. anapausis, “rest from weariness” (Matt. 11:28). (3.) Gr. anesis, “relaxation” (2 Thess. 1:7). (4.) Gr. sabbatismos, a Sabbath rest, a rest from all work (Heb. 4:9; R.V., “sabbath”), a rest like that of God when he had finished the work of creation.

In a state of inactivity or repose, either physical or mental. For example, The doctor’s clear explanation put her mind at rest . Chaucer used this idiom in Troilus and Cressida (c. 1374): “I mine heart set at rest upon this point.” Also see lay at rest
Dead, as in His soul is now at rest with his forebears. This usage, employing rest to refer to death’s repose, is less common today. [ 1300s ]

rest assured
rest on one’s laurels

also see:

at rest
lay at rest
lay to rest
set one’s mind at rest


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