Main definitions of rest in English

: rest1rest2



  • 1Cease work or movement in order to relax, sleep, or recover strength.

    ‘he needed to rest after the feverish activity’
    ‘I'm going to rest up before travelling to England’
    • ‘Noisy dogs keep people from concentrating, resting or sleeping.’
    • ‘Pain may be experienced not only during movement but also while resting.’
    • ‘This was the day when it all caught up on me and I needed to rest up a little.’
    • ‘He then rested, not sleeping, simply regaining strength.’
    • ‘I woke up from my sleep well rested and a little better tempered.’
    • ‘You should return to dry land rested, relaxed and restored.’
    • ‘When resting or sleeping, sea otters float on their backs and wrap themselves in kelp to keep from drifting.’
    • ‘After we finished off the pot of tea, she told us we should probably rest up from our journey.’
    • ‘You'll wake up rested, relaxed and ready to take on the day.’
    • ‘He agreed to stay at the castle to be waited upon hand and foot and to rest up for their return to the Tower.’
    • ‘I am going to rest up today in preparation for the upcoming working week, and catch up on reading your blogs.’
    • ‘I flopped back onto the moth-eaten sofa, glad to rest for a moment.’
    • ‘The purpose of the holiday at the end of the year is to rest up and chill out after a busy competitive season.’
    • ‘Despite the scare, she's determined to rest up and get herself out to the village to visit our athletes.’
    • ‘I felt a little weary when I'd eaten, and had a short afternoon nap to rest up.’
    • ‘It afforded the inhabitants peace of mind while they slept or rested.’
    • ‘I was feeling heavy and tired and would have had to rest up anyway.’
    • ‘I awoke the next night, feeling relaxed and rested, after a calm night, and a dreamless sleep.’
    • ‘He said his drive was far too long and he needed to rest up before the next morning.’
    • ‘Some individuals rested or slept in the back of the enclosure, while others appeared to wait nervously for us to leave.’
    relax, take a rest, ease off, ease up, let up, slow down, pause, have a break, take a break, unbend, repose, laze, idle, loaf, do nothing, take time off, slack off, unwind, recharge one's batteries, be at leisure, take it easy, sit back, sit down, stand down, lounge, luxuriate, loll, slump, flop, put one's feet up, lie down, go to bed, have a nap, take a nap, nap, catnap, doze, have a siesta, take a siesta, drowse, sleep
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1with object Allow to be inactive in order to regain strength or health.
      ‘her friend read to her while she rested her eyes’
      • ‘He then went home, had dinner and rested his legs after an exhausting walk to church.’
      • ‘Pale settles down in the covers, yawning slightly as she curls up in a fetal position, resting her eyes.’
      • ‘She claimed to be resting her mind and collecting material firsthand for a piece she intended to write about domestics.’
      • ‘Treatments commonly involve changing footwear, resting your feet, and using arch supports or pads to help take pressure off the area.’
      • ‘The 62-year-old actress is resting her vocal chords after a virus and was unable to comment.’
      • ‘We walked for a few minutes while he rested his legs and gave his arches a little break.’
      • ‘We are best advised at the end of the day to make amends for it, to settle our hearts and rest our limbs ready for a new dawn.’
      • ‘He rested his eyes then, thinking about everything he had just found out and how it would affect his future.’
    2. 1.2 (of a body) lie buried.
      ‘the king's body rested in his tomb’
      • ‘Following Mass, Mary was laid to rest in the adjoining cemetery beside her husband.’
      • ‘The film ends with the body of Christ laid to rest in the burial cave.’
      • ‘Her execution was swift and her body was laid to rest in the Chapel of St Vincula at the Tower of London.’
      • ‘He rests in the graveyard of Wesley’s Chapel on City Road in London, which he had formally opened in 1778.’
      • ‘Her body now rests in the graveyard.’
      • ‘His body was conveyed to Paris, and now rests in the cemetery of Père la Chaise.’
      • ‘Tutankhamun's mummy rested in his tomb for more than 3,000 years until, early in November 1922, its peace was shattered when the tomb was opened by the British archaeologist Howard Carter.’
      • ‘The body rests among greenery, a symbol of life and rejuvenation.’
      • ‘Isis looked long at the sarcophagus, if the legends were true the body of Osiris rested in the stone structure in front of her.’
      • ‘The Queen's Chapel is a grand and fitting place for the Queen Mother's body to rest in tranquil surroundings.’
      • ‘His body rests in the King George VI Memorial Chapel, a small chantry chapel adjoining the north choir aisle and only completed in 1969.’
      • ‘After Requiem Mass on Monday, Tom was laid to rest in the nearby cemetery.’
      • ‘As his body was laid to rest, six Royal Marines fired a volley of three shots followed by a rendering of the Last Post by a bugler.’
      • ‘Following Mass on Thursday, Helen was laid to rest in the adjoining cemetery.’
      • ‘The saint rests in his tomb and also in immediately accessible reliquaries to the left of the royal doors of the icon screen.’
    3. 1.3be restingBritish Used euphemistically by actors to indicate that they are out of work.
      ‘she was an actress but doing domestic work while she was resting’
      • ‘IT'S a disheartening statistic for any aspiring actor: most will spend about 80 per cent of their working life "resting".’
      • ‘His novel features a day in the life of a ‘resting’ actor.’
      • ‘Coincidentally, I'm also an actor, resting between jobs.’
      • ‘The idea of the 'resting' actor does not seem to apply to Juliet, who even managed to fit in some part-time study a couple of years back, gaining a B.A. degree.’
      • ‘It is essential to realise that, on average, actors spend about 80% of their working life 'resting'.’
    4. 1.4with object Leave (a player) out of a team temporarily.
      ‘both men were rested for the cup final’
      • ‘If a player is to be rested it must be for the good of the team not on the say-so of the national coach.’
      • ‘Having a good range of substitutions enables the manager to rest needed players for big occasions.’
      • ‘The rules are so relaxed now that you can rest a player who is off-colour.’
      • ‘The club and country debate is at its most critical now as Liverpool are still in four cups and want to rest players when there is a chance to do so.’
      • ‘I understand the temptation to protect players but, given that we can play a maximum of only six games during the tournament, do we really need to worry about resting players?’
      • ‘And he was the first coach to make sure his best players were rested for the final minutes of a game.’
      • ‘However, Australia had qualified for the finals, and so a couple of players were rested for this game.’
      • ‘At half time Army made five substitutions to rest some key player and give some experience to some new players.’
      • ‘I'm not sure if they will put out their strongest team or rest a couple with a view to the play-offs.’
      • ‘I suggested that resting him would benefit the team.’
      • ‘A number of their players involved in that encounter may be rested for the first Test against South Africa.’
      • ‘Those same players will be rested and more experienced next year, which should make the Browns a much better team in the second half of next season.’
      • ‘He has been playing through pain, but resting him for a while might be in his and the team's best interests.’
      • ‘They lost their last game but they may have been resting a few players, knowing a Cup match with Salford was coming up.’
      • ‘It makes good sense to rest key players for the two tough games ahead - the semis and the finals.’
      • ‘We rested some key players and we're the one team that can afford to do that, but I don't like the system.’
      • ‘The underlying idea is that Test players should be rested.’
      • ‘Such a lopsided assertion that you shouldn't rest players can be contradicted by considering any of the many times United rested players and still won.’
      • ‘Their only series against a contender will be the Cardinals, who are routinely resting some of their starters in these final games.’
      • ‘He took the decision to rest players that he felt needed resting.’
    5. 1.5 (of a problem or subject) be left without further investigation or discussion.
      ‘the council has urged the planning committee not to allow the matter to rest’
      • ‘The Minister has undertaken to look into the matter; I think the matter must rest there.’
      • ‘So far as the Newsletter is concerned, I think it is probably best to let the matter rest for the time being.’
      • ‘There the matter might have rested, but for the significance that has recently been attached to the assault.’
      • ‘If the matter rested there, I would have no difficulty in accepting this.’
      • ‘I do not believe that the matter should rest there, because there is an honourable course of action.’
      • ‘She promised to ring back, I left my number once more, and there the matter rested.’
      • ‘If any one out there can lay this matter to rest we would ask them to please do so.’
      • ‘I think that the matter might have rested there if it were not for the fact that many schools, and their teachers and students, felt cheated.’
      • ‘There this matter might have rested if it were not for a potential medical crisis that is feared by some doctors.’
      • ‘He said the article was in ‘poor taste,’ and that it was time to let the matter rest.’
      • ‘Because the vote has been taken, and the Speaker has agreed to it, the matter rests there.’
      • ‘It immediately dissolved itself and it was expected that the matter would rest there.’
      • ‘After all, surely this organisation could put the matter to rest once and for all.’
      • ‘The developers lodged an appeal but later withdrew it, and there matters appeared to rest.’
      • ‘The complainant let the matter rest at that point, happy with publication of the letter.’
    6. 1.6with object Allow (land) to lie fallow.
      ‘the field should be grazed or rested’
      • ‘There were three solutions to this problem: fertilizing, rotating crops, and resting the land.’
      • ‘The land was rested, abundant, and fertile; occupied by a people of calm dignity.’
      • ‘In the Jubilee Year, too, the land was rested and no work done on it.’
      • ‘The land was rested for 1-3 years which was not enough if compared to the 19 years fallow period which their ancestors practiced.’
      • ‘Resting land promotes a healthy ecosystem by allowing the flora and fauna to complete an entire annual cycle without any major disturbance.’
  • 2 Be placed or supported so as to stay in a specified position.

    ‘her elbow was resting on the arm of the sofa’
    • ‘She walks forward, her staff resting in the crook of her arm.’
    • ‘Hakkana grinned and plopped down on a bench, her arms resting in her lap.’
    • ‘John had his knees drawn up halfway to his chest and his arms were resting on the top of them.’
    • ‘He took a defensive position, one hand resting by my thigh and the other on his hip as he stared straight back at me.’
    • ‘Half-slouched, her elbow rested gingerly on the thin armrest, with her head propped up with her hand.’
    • ‘His right hand rested lightly on her shoulder, but no smile touched upon his lips.’
    • ‘Her hand was comfortably resting on his shoulder.’
    • ‘Instead he was sitting directly at his open window, his chin resting against his hands, which were propped on the sill.’
    • ‘He didn't rise when Hunter entered; he stayed in the cross legged position, his hands resting comfortably on his knees.’
    • ‘For all other rifle events in the standing position, the rifle rests against the shoulder and the left arm can be supported on the chest or hip.’
    • ‘He has his elbow resting up on the arm part of the couch and his hand is holding his head up.’
    • ‘He stared blindly out the window, his chin resting in the palm of his right hand, arm propped on his desk.’
    • ‘I know this because my chin now rested on her shoulder, my arms draped loosely around her waist.’
    • ‘Her head rested lightly on his chest like a child to a father.’
    • ‘His chin rested comfortably on the top of her head.’
    • ‘Meaning I was facing him with my forehead resting against his chest.’
    • ‘He was leaning over in the chair, elbows resting casually on his knees.’
    • ‘One arm hung limply at her side while the other rested on the hilt of her sword.’
    • ‘Start from an almost flat position with hands resting behind head and elbows out to the sides.’
    lie, be laid, recline, repose, be, be placed, be positioned
    View synonyms
    1. 2.1with object and adverbial of place Place (something) so that it is supported in a specified position.
      ‘he rested a hand on her shoulder’
      • ‘Hanna let out a soft sigh and perched an elbow on her desk, resting her head against her hand.’
      • ‘She laid her body down, turning her back to Senta, and rested her arm under her head for support.’
      • ‘I then lay my arms out on the table, next to her elbows and rested my cheek against hers.’
      • ‘Wendy huffed a couple of times, and then turned around and put one elbow on the table, resting the side of her head on that fist.’
      • ‘Isabelle could feel herself physically weakening and she rested her hand against the wall for support.’
      • ‘After the silence continues, the golden-haired woman set down her coffee and stepped behind her husband, resting her arms around him.’
      • ‘He kissed her on top of her head then rested his chin on her head.’
      • ‘He adjusted his position to rest his arm against the chair beside him and motioned toward her.’
      • ‘Danielle sits on the buttercream-soft leather sofa, resting her arms casually atop the cushions on either side of her and crossing her legs.’
      • ‘He sits back, resting his head against the leather support.’
      • ‘He turned slightly to face her, resting his arm and elbow upon the back of the bench.’
      • ‘I sighed, resting my arms onto the table and leaning against the back.’
      • ‘She leaned on the table with her elbows on either side of the book, resting her head against her hands.’
      • ‘He gently rested his forehead against the cool panes, savoring the feeling.’
      • ‘As Nora listened to him laugh and shout with the others, she set her elbow on the table, resting her head upon it, and sighed wistfully.’
      • ‘He sat down at the table, resting his arms upon it.’
      • ‘He moved into my embrace then, seeming to be still mostly asleep, and then settled himself, resting his back against me.’
      • ‘Gabriel sighed heavily, resting both his elbows on the table and linking his fingers at the back of his neck.’
      • ‘I swayed a little before resting my hand against the hall wall to help support me.’
      • ‘This seemed to satisfy them and they sipped, lowering their cups only slightly and resting their arms casually on the low table.’
      support, prop, prop up, steady, balance, lean, lay, set, sit, stand, position, place, put
      View synonyms
    2. 2.2rest on/upon (of a look) alight or be steadily directed on.
      ‘his eyes rested briefly on the boy’
      • ‘Luke said with a frown, his blue eyes finally resting on the table in front of him.’
      • ‘Emmanuel looked around the room and caught sight of the pistols; his eyes rested on the weapons, and he pointed to them.’
      • ‘He scanned the bushes and his eyes rested upon a wisp of red at the base of a bush.’
      • ‘His eyes rested on the wall next to their bed that grew a brighter shade of white with the increasing morning sunlight.’
      • ‘My eyes came to rest upon a girl with short, strawberry blonde hair that hung just past her chin and was pulled back over her ear with a dragonfly clip.’
  • 3rest on/uponBe based on; depend on.

    ‘the country's security rested on its alliances’
    • ‘His fame rests on his Annals and his Histories which related events from the death of Augustus to the Flavian period.’
    • ‘Thus the moral/legal element in scripture (the halacha) rests upon a narrative base (the agada).’
    • ‘The programme's effectiveness rests on the evidence based treatment of newly identified patients.’
    • ‘Such metaphors have at their base the idea of a moral right that rests upon the addition of man's labor to nature.’
    • ‘This confidence rests on the fact that a broad consensus of support exists for such conduct within the ruling elite.’
    • ‘The EU draft Constitution rests upon the premise that power is assumed and concentrated in the Government and thus, flows from the top down.’
    • ‘This enables a less dogmatic argument which rests upon the unresolved dialectical tension between an approach which is very speculative and theoretical, and another which is stylistically more factual.’
    • ‘The diagnosis thus rests upon vague criteria, of doubtful validity; but it makes sense, more or less, in practice.’
    • ‘If it is to allow diverse citizens to hammer out a common way of life, this state cannot rest upon traditional bases of loyalty such as kinship or creed.’
    • ‘Classification seems to me to rest upon too narrow a foundation when it is chiefly based on structure.’
    • ‘Though his book is not based on extensive archival research, it does rest upon 30 years of reflection and synthesis by an extraordinarily bright and well-read military historian.’
    • ‘In other words, Churchill recognized that power rests upon dependence.’
    • ‘His idea of attrition was based on material deprivation; today's rests on abundance.’
    • ‘The revenue base for this system rests upon a simple proposition - that consumers have no close substitute for the use of the land - based, wireline, circuit - switched, telephone system.’
    • ‘That ground of democracy and freedom is what our society rests upon more than anything else, and we must resist the temptation to undermine it in the face of the fear and uncertainty that events like this generate.’
    • ‘The current regime of the president rests upon a fearsome security apparatus.’
    • ‘Well, speaking as a college instructor, my entire work rests upon the illusion that students are adults, capable of rational thought and analysis of the world around them.’
    • ‘But his work rests on a model of science whose power relies on separation from society.’
    • ‘Our current knowledge base rests on small studies and special surveillance systems, with a few examples of survey data.’
    • ‘The government's authority rests upon the popular mandate, established through the party political system of manifestos and public debate.’
    be based on, be grounded in, be founded on, depend on, be dependent on, rely on, hinge on, turn on, hang on, pivot on, be contingent on, revolve around, centre on
    View synonyms
    1. 3.1rest something in/onwith object Place hope, trust, or confidence on or in.
      ‘she rested her hopes in her attorney’
      • ‘Although he had little faith in the operation of politics, he rested his hopes for progress on education.’
      • ‘But that which she had rested her hopes on was not enough.’
      • ‘Consider this pragmatically, too - if you were in a relationship with somebody of dubious fidelity would you want to rest things on the hope that other women would turn him down when he wanted them?’
      • ‘‘He appears to rest his confidence in a few people whose judgment corresponds to his gut instincts’ he said.’
      • ‘However, the company rests this view on the fact that so many more people get their news from the local newspaper, the local news show, and, to a lesser extent, other outlets.’
    2. 3.2 Be the responsibility of or belong to a specified person.
      ‘the final say rests with the regional assemblies’
      • ‘Legally the responsibility for a gravestone rests with the family of the deceased but it would be an impossible task to trace relatives of people who died decades ago.’
      • ‘As I said in my recent letter to members, the responsibility for change rests with all of us.’
      • ‘Ultimate responsibility rests with the board, which was doubled from six members to 12.’
      • ‘We take the view that the responsibility rests with parents to make choices as to what their children learn and where they learn - at a pre-school, at a school, or at home.’
      • ‘The ultimate responsibility for screening newborns rests with the attending physician.’
      • ‘The responsibility for my own happiness rests with me alone.’
      • ‘Educational responsibility rests with parents and not with the state.’
      • ‘But primary responsibility rests with the leadership.’
      • ‘The responsibility to take immediate action to improve farm incomes rests with the incoming government.’
      • ‘This will be discussed with the patient's family, but the ultimate decision rests with the consultant.’
      • ‘The responsibility for speeding traffic rests with the guards.’
      • ‘The ultimate responsibility rests with those who refuse to change racist structures and policies.’
      • ‘Some of the responsibility rests with the players.’
      • ‘Responsibility for enforcing the policies rests with the individual transport companies.’
      • ‘Of course, ultimate responsibility for the matter rests with the mayor, they said.’
      • ‘The legal responsibility for the charges announced this week may stop with the commanding officer named in the indictment, but the moral responsibility rests with those who chose to go to war.’
      • ‘The Convention makes clear that the primary responsibility for implementation rests with the member states themselves.’
      • ‘If there is a crime, the moral responsibility rests with the leadership, but a member of the leadership cannot be held personally responsible.’
      • ‘In keeping with the international approach, primary responsibility for operational security rests with the port facilities and ships themselves.’
      • ‘Responsibility rests with us all to make the system work.’
  • 4North American Law
    Conclude presentation of either party's case in a suit or prosecution.

    ‘the prosecution rests’
    See also rest one's case below
    • ‘Both the defence and prosecution rested in the fifth day of the trial after Jones testified against him for a second time.’
    • ‘Prosecution rested, you rested and the jury went out and came back.’
    • ‘The District Attorney said last week that the prosecution would rest today.’


  • 1An instance or period of resting.

    ‘you look as though you need a rest’
    mass noun ‘a couple of days of complete rest’
    • ‘What I need is a period of rest, and, thankfully, I have an exciting yet restful and relaxing weekend lined up.’
    • ‘I had to take several rests in order to get through the food.’
    • ‘We cannot afford the luxury of cooling off periods, rests or breaks.’
    • ‘"The first thing on my mind is getting a well-earned rest after 77 hours on air.’
    • ‘Periods of rest are provided by the arrival of the squads of guisers, each in turn performing a sketch.’
    • ‘Perform this workout no more than twice a week with at least a day's rest between each workout.’
    • ‘Mother and son were given the all-clear and enjoyed a well deserved rest in the comfort of their own home.’
    • ‘Give yourself a minimum of 48 hours' rest between workouts.’
    • ‘The doctors had told him to have complete bed rest for a whole week.’
    • ‘Three weeks' rest has helped Richards' body heal but he will wear a protector behind the wheel.’
    • ‘A spokesman for the star added, ‘Joss saw a doctor and has been warned that her voice is an instrument that needs protecting by having proper rests.’’
    • ‘There is a possibility that you might have jaundice in later life but after a complete rest you can keep playing tennis.’
    • ‘They walked slowly, stopping periodically for rests, and stopping once for a light lunch.’
    • ‘Part of me is completely unaware of this forthcoming period of rest.’
    • ‘The prosecution's case took two years to present, in part because his doctors ordered that he have frequent rests.’
    • ‘We have had the longest period of rest of any battalion in the army.’
    • ‘The poet and playwright tells me he has been taking a rest from writing over the Christmas period.’
    • ‘While there, the men get some well earned rest and relaxation.’
    • ‘By the end of last year, he had nothing left in the tank, and he was planning a complete rest until he felt the urge to pick up a racquet.’
    • ‘Power was exhaustible and requires to be replenished by periods of rests.’
    repose, relaxation, leisure, ease, inactivity, respite, time off, time out, breathing space
    holiday, recess
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1mass noun A motionless state.
      ‘the car accelerates rapidly from rest’
      • ‘The three other rooms in the exhibition are devoted to food and drink, sleep and wakefulness, and motion and rest.’
      • ‘Each atom has an unchanging shape and size and a changeable degree of motion or rest.’
      • ‘An arrow, starting from rest, leaves the bow with a speed of 29.0 m/s.’
      • ‘The rate at which the motor can be started from rest without losing steps is known as the 'starting' or 'pull-in' rate.’
      • ‘In the beginning in his omnipotence he created matter, along with its motion and rest.’
      a standstill, a halt, a stop
      View synonyms
  • 2Music
    An interval of silence of a specified duration.

    • ‘The metronome serves as an invaluable tool for making sure the inner pulse is steady, especially after syncopations and unexpected rests.’
    • ‘The rests, fermatas and sudden dynamic changes help to provide an element of surprise.’
    • ‘It is in a comfortable key with limited chromaticism, employs only basic syncopation and has frequent rests.’
    • ‘I need to practice listening to the rests - not only in my music - but also in my conversations.’
    1. 2.1 The sign denoting a musical rest.
      • ‘Long drawn lines interspersed amid the text act as scripted silences, musical rests.’
      • ‘All notes, rests, accidentals, articulations, triplets and staves are provided for the user.’
      • ‘The clefs, rests, and expression marks such as slurs and phrasing, even the thickness of the staves, make up a complex pictorial and typographical unity.’
      • ‘The reader can learn a lot from discussion about phrase marks and rests as they were used around 1800, as well as about legato versus staccato.’
      • ‘As he progresses, he will also learn to distinguish various musical expressions such as time signature, rests, and tempo.’
    2. 2.2 A pause in speech or verse.
      • ‘The second striking point was the way the rests and pauses were manipulated and utilised to characterise the entire performance.’
      • ‘The verse is clearly to be read aloud as three beats followed by a rest, followed by three more beats, followed by a rest — and therefore as two tetrameters in a row, each of which has its fourth beat silent.’
      • ‘The measure of five syllables is almost always inconvenient in utterance and should be broken up, by a rest, into two portions.’
  • 3in combination An object that is used to support something.

    ‘a shoulder rest’
    stand, base, holder, support, stay, prop, brace, rack, hook, frame, shelf, bracket, trestle, tripod, plinth, pedestal, foundation, bed, foot, substructure
    View synonyms
    1. 3.1 A support or hook for a telephone receiver when not in use.
      ‘carefully the receiver was replaced on the rest’
      • ‘This is a stylish and very practical telephone rest, which comes with a handy desk pen.’
      • ‘There is a small hanging device in the receiver rest to prevent the receiver from falling when it is placed on the rest with the telephone mounted on the wall.’
    2. 3.2 A support for a cue in billiards or snooker.
      • ‘Traditionally when a player uses the rest, the player's hands are quite close together.’
      • ‘I was busy laughing at him as he was having to use all the furniture (extended cue, extended rest etc).’
      • ‘Protect your furniture and your cues with this beautiful Luxury Leather Cue Rest with moveable arms and protective feet.’


  • at rest

    • 1Not moving or exerting oneself.

      ‘uncurl so your arms and legs are at rest’
      • ‘‘Restless legs’ are an unpleasant creeping sensation deep in the legs when they are at rest, especially in the evening and during the night.’
      • ‘A pure arterial ulcer often has no edema, unless the patient with pain at rest keeps the leg dependent throughout the night for comfort.’
      • ‘The definition later attracted criticism from Newton on the ground that it implied, incorrectly, that particles inside a moving body were at rest while those on the surface were not.’
      • ‘After the first venous blood sample was obtained at rest, strength was evaluated in each leg and a baseline muscle biopsy was performed on the nondominant leg.’
      • ‘People with this sleep disorder feel a creepy-crawly sensation in the legs when they're at rest.’
      • ‘It may be worse in the evenings when your legs are at rest.’
      • ‘Ultrasound scans will then produce moving pictures of the heart both at rest and during stimulation, which doctors believe will enable them to make an improved, more accurate diagnosis.’
      • ‘Pulses that arc palpable in the foot while the patient is at rest or with the leg in a dependent position may disappear when the patient exercises.’
      • ‘Consider Aristotle's own riddle about motion: At the instant when an object stops moving, is it in motion or is it at rest?’
      • ‘A reference frame specifies all the trajectories that are regarded as stationary, or at rest in space.’
      1. 1.1Not agitated or troubled.
        ‘if you think something's wrong, consult the doctor to set your mind at rest’
        • ‘But the way they behaved toward me completely set my mind at rest.’
        • ‘Fortunately for Laurie, I'm here to set his mind at rest, for I happen to know that his projections are fundamentally flawed.’
        • ‘The practice is simple: sit or lie down and picture in your mind scenes where you are at rest, are calm and peaceful, or are quietly strong.’
        • ‘If you had doubts about how riveting Manet's subject was to audiences of the time, the documentary section of the show set your mind at rest.’
        • ‘We want to be calm, at rest, in touch with our senses.’
        • ‘The whole atmosphere was relaxed, which did a lot to set my mind at rest.’
        • ‘When the mind and heart are at rest, they are not important or unimportant, secure or insecure, and this natural state is happiness.’
        • ‘I never asked him to set my mind at rest or anything like that.’
        • ‘Tell me, how are you going to use it - just to set my mind at rest from a security perspective?’
        • ‘He gave the boys leeway and a free tab at the bar for a limited amount and set his mind at rest.’
      2. 1.2Dead and buried.
        ‘she lies at rest in the churchyard’
        • ‘From one perspective, Captain Pepper lies peacefully at rest.’
        • ‘I could tell her he was buried at sea and was at rest.’
        • ‘But you also come across real mausoleums, like the cemetery, where on artificially formed hillside terraces over a thousand soldiers lie at rest.’
        • ‘Her funeral mass was celebrated in the Church and she now lies at rest in Court Abbey cemetery within sight of her home.’
        • ‘Brother and sister, who were only separated by a year in age, now lie at rest within yards of each other in Rochdale Cemetery.’
        • ‘A large Celtic Cross stands in the middle of the plot and there too many of the Jones Family lay at rest underneath.’
  • come to rest

    • Stop moving; settle.

      ‘the lift came to rest at the first floor’
      • ‘The pointer came to rest in about 6 seconds.’
      • ‘The vehicle slid to a stop 22 m downstream of its position at impact and came to rest against the downstream section of guardrail.’
      • ‘It got nearer and nearer until it eventually came to rest in the centre of the park.’
      • ‘The airplane came to rest, upright and on fire, on grass-covered soil, about 290 feet to the left of the departure end of runway 13R.’
      • ‘The golden coach bearing the Queen and her family came to rest close behind.’
      a standstill, a halt, a stop
      View synonyms
  • give it a rest

    • informal Used to ask someone to stop talking about something that the speaker finds irritating.

      ‘give it a rest, lads—agree to differ’
      • ‘But now can you please, please just give it a rest.’
      • ‘I mean really, for goodness' sakes, give it a rest.’
      • ‘For goodness sake, give it a rest and come down off your moralistic and judgmental perch.’
      • ‘When there is so much else happening in the world, you would think they could give it a rest now and again.’
      • ‘We might have to ask him to give it a rest; remind him that it's St. Patrick's day and that people are trying to have a bit of fun!’
      • ‘‘Geez,’ Rob said to himself, snapping out of his trance, ‘I need to give it a rest before I get obsessed.’’
      • ‘You've already asked her to give it a rest, but try again.’
      • ‘For God's sake, William, will you give it a rest?’
      • ‘I think it's best they take it off, give it a rest for a while.’
      • ‘You'd think they'd give it a rest at the weekend.’
  • lay someone to rest

    • Bury someone's body in a grave.

      ‘they couldn't lay him to rest as his body was never discovered’
  • lay (or put) something to rest

    • Stop doubt, uncertainty, or anxiety by resolving or explaining an issue.

      ‘suspicion will be laid to rest by fact rather than hearsay’
      ‘I hope that my contribution will help put to rest some of these misconceptions’
  • no rest for the wicked

  • rest one's case

    • 1Conclude one's presentation of evidence and arguments in a lawsuit.

      ‘the prosecution rested its case’
      • ‘Defense attorneys in the murder trial rested their case today after hearing testimony from a forensics expert.’
      • ‘He called no further evidence and rested his case.’
      • ‘I don't think they'll make that decision until the prosecution has rested their case.’
      • ‘Latest news suggests that his defence lawyers are ready to rest their case today, without having brought the singer to the witness stand, sparing him the process of being questioned about his private life in court.’
      • ‘The defense attorney rested his case today without calling any more witnesses.’
      • ‘He rests his case, and the judge calls a recess until the following morning.’
      • ‘Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, I rest my case.’
      • ‘Once the prosecutor rests his case, however, his lawyer makes a bold statement.’
      • ‘Both the prosecution and the defence have rested their cases in the child abuse trial.’
      • ‘Lawyers argued over procedural matters about admitting evidence and then prosecutors rested their case.’
      1. 1.1humorous Said to show that one believes one has presented sufficient evidence for one's views.
        • ‘I will stick my thumbs in my waistcoat and quote the well-known phrase: ‘I rest my case, m'lud John!’’
        • ‘I rest my case, ladies and gentlemen, and leave the discovery of further evidence as an exercise for the reader.’
        • ‘After having read this article from the BBC News website today, I rest my case.’
        • ‘The only other thing I can add… this is wonderful timeless music that really needs no introduction, its Ray Charles, and I rest my case.’
        • ‘And they cannot fail to call into question the motives on which the opponents of hunting claim to rest their case.’
  • rest on one's laurels

    • Be so satisfied with what one has already done or achieved that one makes no further effort.

      ‘with TV sports coverage becoming increasingly competitive, the BBC should beware of resting on its laurels’
      • ‘Yet these individuals are not resting on past laurels.’
      • ‘But I've rested on my laurels and never put effort into anything.’
      • ‘But we have no intention of resting on our fresh green laurels.’
      • ‘He is not resting on his laurels and has already begun working for further improvement.’
      • ‘He continues to strive towards perfection and is never satisfied with resting on his laurels.’
      • ‘You can create your own destiny,’ she said recalling her own experience of rising in a field dominated by men and how she achieved her dreams and didn't rest on her laurels.’
      • ‘But we were not designed to rest on the laurels earned by our forefathers.’
      • ‘We can't rest on our laurels; we will continue to work very hard to achieve the best results for all the students.’
      • ‘He has experienced more adventure than most of us enjoy in a lifetime but he is not resting on his laurels and is already planning further adventures.’
      • ‘We cannot rest on our laurels after the efforts of the weekend.’
  • rest (or God rest) his (or her) soul

    • Used to express a wish that God should grant someone's soul peace.

      • ‘My father - God rest his soul - knew it would happen.’
      • ‘When your mother died, God rest her soul, I was so lonely.’
      • ‘To this day, the smell of stale ash reminds me of him, God rest his soul.’
      • ‘I will not tolerate it, because your father, God rest his soul, would not have tolerated it.’
      • ‘His father, god rest his soul, was the owner of a multi-million dollar car company.’
      • ‘MY dear old mum, rest her soul, was not a judgmental sort of lady.’
      • ‘Well, we can thank my mom for that, rest her soul.’
      • ‘The Republic lost a hell of an asset when he died, God rest his soul.’
      • ‘His father - god rest his soul - had been the cook and the eater of the house, and after his death Liam was in charge of the shopping.’
      • ‘My husband, god rest his soul, was a hard working man.’


Old English ræst, rest (noun), ræstan, restan (verb), of Germanic origin, from a root meaning ‘league’ or ‘mile’ (referring to a distance after which one rests).




Main definitions of rest in English

: rest1rest2



  • 1in singular The remaining part of something.

    ‘what do you want to do for the rest of your life?’
    ‘I'll tell you the rest tomorrow night’
    • ‘The score remained deadlocked through the rest of the game and extra time.’
    • ‘We lost sight of them a short time later, and didn't run into them the rest of the night.’
    • ‘The rest of the night went smoothly and although the DJ hadn't turned up, the show was a great success.’
    • ‘Nothing, however, could have prepared me for how the rest of the night went.’
    • ‘The rest of the structure remains in place but is in a state of disrepair.’
    • ‘The rest of the novel remains intact for audiences who like the movie and want to know what happens to these characters.’
    • ‘There is optimism, he said, but Scotland remained behind the rest of the UK and the recovery is fragile.’
    • ‘She had remained silent during the rest of the meal and Mark hadn't been able to bring her out of it.’
    • ‘What this means in terms of trade relations with the rest of the world remains to be seen.’
    • ‘The only downside so far is that orchid blooms wilt, but the rest of the plant remains healthy.’
    • ‘She stormed off somewhere and I didn't see her the rest of the night.’
    • ‘There were campsites in these areas, but the rest of the park remained safe for tourists.’
    • ‘Most of the rest of the night was sadly uneventful, the friend and I got home and watched a movie.’
    • ‘Restrictions will remain in the rest of the Northern Infected Area.’
    • ‘He had removed his gloves but the rest of the uniform remained, clinging tightly to the sculptured muscles of his physique.’
    • ‘Much of the rest of the world remained as either economic or political colonies of the dominant powers.’
    • ‘My views in the rest of that article remain broadly the same, too.’
    • ‘Lynne's recollection of the rest of the night is a blur and her friend Jane takes up her story.’
    • ‘Although I wasn't injured, I was badly shaken and spent the rest of the night asleep on the sofa.’
    • ‘I spend the rest of the night in a TV room with a hundred or so others watching CNN.’
    1. 1.1treated as plural The remaining people or things; the others.
      ‘the rest of us were experienced skiers’
      • ‘He is marginally less damaged than the rest of them, but he knows that and is trying to change things for himself.’
      • ‘It begins with an initial selection of events, while the rest of the events remain locked.’
      • ‘I'm pretty certain they're all having a good time of it though - they like a good night out like the rest of us.’
      • ‘The programmer bowed his head along with the rest of them but remained unmoved.’
      • ‘I've also bought some more tubs, so should finally be able to plant the rest of the onions tomorrow.’
      • ‘It was interesting to see the different ways in which my stories "talked" to each other according to the order in which I placed the rest of them.’
      • ‘The rest of us remained silent, watching Devin and Jonas and waiting for their cues.’
      • ‘Add the rest of the ingredients, and toss just once or twice to distribute evenly.’
      • ‘His tan face flushed with embarrassment as the rest of the ten remaining guests egged him on.’
      • ‘This too is surely just ‘one incident’ and ‘still under investigation,’ just like the rest of them.’
      • ‘The rest of the rules remain the same so any posts you find must be recent etc.’
      • ‘We did it the easy way - we had a fluent Italian speaker in our midst, allowing the rest of us to remain mute.’
      • ‘I'll fill you in on the rest of the details tomorrow when I've got a bit more time.’
      • ‘No matter how it is worded we are saddled with a system YOU think is good enough for the rest of us, just not good enough for you.’
      • ‘Add the remaining pod with the rest of the ingredients and bring to the boil.’
      remainder, residue, balance, remaining number, remaining part, remaining quantity, number left over, part left over, quantity left over, number that is left over, part that is left over, quantity that is left over, others, those left, remains, remnant, remnants, rump, surplus, difference, extra, excess, superfluity, overflow, overspill, additional material, additional people, additional things, extra material, extra people, extra things
      View synonyms
  • 2Anatomy
    A small, detached portion of an organ or tissue.

    • ‘Adrenal rests are usually found in the hilar region and not intraparenchymally.’
    • ‘These findings strongly support the origin of the tumor from heterotopic retroperitoneal rests of the adrenal gland.’
    • ‘The exact histogenesis of EWT is unknown but most likely relates to the presence of nephrogenic rests occurring in the female genital tract.’
    • ‘Other authors have proposed that such teratomas may originate from totipotential embryonic rests in the left genital ridge.’
    • ‘In other sites, liposarcoma is thought to be derived from residual rests of primitive mesenchymal tissue.’
  • 3A rally in real tennis.


  • no object, with complement Remain or be left in a specified condition.

    ‘you can rest assured she will do everything she can’
    • ‘Fans of the group can rest assured that they won't be disappointed.’
    • ‘United can rest assured that their new captain is a proven winner.’
    • ‘He said their families can rest assured that their sons and daughters died for a noble cause.’
    • ‘The opinion of the people is one which we value immensely and from the public response to this matter, we can rest assured that it is a good one.’
    • ‘It says shoppers can rest assured that if there's any risk of nut contamination, there will be a warning on the label.’
    • ‘With-profits policyholders should rest assured that there is no danger to their investments.’
    • ‘Where there was one, you can rest assured that the other wasn't too far away, such was their close bond.’
    • ‘However you view it, you can rest assured that this is one day which wasn't dreamed up as a cynical marketing ploy to part us from our money.’
    • ‘If you would like to join The Writers Block, you can rest assured that you would be very welcome.’
    • ‘Whatever you choose, you can rest assured that the food has been well prepared using local produce.’
    • ‘She should rest assured that great reward awaits her if she only be steadfast.’
    • ‘Parents can rest assured that their children are safe when they are in the snooker hall.’
    • ‘So, when its time for bed, you can rest assured that you're in good company.’
    • ‘Parents can rest assured that any child who logs on to this site will be out of mischief for at least an hour.’
    • ‘Fans can rest assured that the terrific production values from the original return here in full force.’
    • ‘If the live CD seems like it's been a long time coming, you can rest assured that it feels exactly the same way for its creator.’
    • ‘Well, Gareth, thank you for your concern, but you can rest assured that it is misplaced.’
    • ‘And we can rest assured that no player will be left out in the cold until the final day singles.’
    • ‘Whatever the case, you may rest assured that his tone remains hauntingly elegiac at all times.’
    • ‘Parents can rest assured that the show will be secured by a fully professional team.’
    remain, continue to be, stay, keep, persist in being, carry on being, go on being
    View synonyms


  • and the rest

    • informal Used to assert that something is an understatement.

      ‘‘You mean it took three hours?’ ‘And the rest.’’
  • and (all) the rest (of it)

    • And everything else of a similar type that might be mentioned.

      ‘it's all very well to talk about natural affection and love and the rest of it’
      • ‘If you believe in transubstantiation, parthenogenesis and the rest of it, you're deemed fit to run the country.’
      • ‘Of course we need something called a job, money, cars, TVs, computers, gourmet gadgets and the rest of it.’
      • ‘He is eminently quotable, verbose, fanciful and the rest of it, apparently fabulously wealthy and yet, quite possibly, a fantasist.’
      • ‘I bought her book, stocked up on butter beans, fennel and the rest of it, and fell at the first hurdle - when I discovered that her sweet-potato wedges were even more delicious with big dollops of full-fat mayonnaise.’
      • ‘And you find it in the health service, you find it in education and the rest of it.’
      • ‘It was bearable for the first minute, when we said hello and the rest of it.’
      • ‘At the level of petty, paranoid and the rest of it, this doesn't matter very much.’
      • ‘I love crosswords - I love the cryptic clues and the obscure quotes from Shakespeare and all the rest.’
      • ‘If this makes it worse what is going to happen in terms of our house insurance and the rest of it?’
      • ‘All people do is give up chocolate and all the rest of it - and I don't think that does you any good whatsoever.’
  • for the rest

    • As far as other matters are concerned.

      • ‘For the rest, the theology is rationalistic, individualistic, and politically somewhere between extreme libertarian and nonviolent anarchist.’
      • ‘For the rest I think I may be excused here from a detailed refutation of all these doctrines.’
  • the rest is history

    • Used to indicate that the events succeeding those already related are so well known that they need not be recounted again.

      ‘they teamed up, discovered that they could make music, and the rest is history’
      • ‘The Lottery gave over £500,000 and the rest is history.’
      • ‘The sparks flew immediately, and the rest, well, as they say, the rest is history.’
      • ‘The books sold ridiculously well, and the rest is history.’
      • ‘Undaunted by the male-dominated music society of her times, she took the music world by storm - and the rest is history.’
      • ‘Tom took up the challenge and the rest is history.’
      • ‘That was seized upon as a good smear and the rest is history.’
      • ‘She began her career 13 years ago after drinking a couple of wine coolers, and the rest is history, she said with a giggle.’
      • ‘As it turned out, Jobs introduced the iMac, and the rest is history.’
      • ‘He found a place in Upland Rd, Remuera and the rest is history.’
      • ‘They went to the streets, they celebrated and the rest is history.’


Late Middle English: from Old French reste (noun), rester (verb), from Latin restare ‘remain’, from re- ‘back’ + stare ‘to stand’.