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Pause vs Recess vs Respite vs Lull vs Intermission

Pauserecessrespitelullintermission are comparable when they mean a temporary cessation especially in action, in activity, or in movement.

Pause, though it carries an implication of expected resumption, stresses the fact of stopping without indicating, in itself, the duration or the cause of the stop. The term is often applied to such a letup in utterance as that marked in printing by a period or a caesura or as that caused by an interruption, by hesitation, or by awaiting an answer, but it may quite as readily be applied to a temporary cessation of activity (as for play, for sleep, or for relaxation).

Recess implies a temporary cessation of work; usually it applies to an interval granted (as to legislators or students) for the sake of relaxation or diversion.

Respite implies a time of relief (as from labor, suffering, or war) or of delay (as before sentencing or executing).

Lull implies a temporary cessation or marked decline of activity (as in the course of a storm, in business, or in military activity between two offensives).

Intermission basically implies a break in continuity but comes close to lull in stressing one caused by a temporary cessation (as of an action, a process, or a proceeding). However, its application is usually quite different since it usually suggests a pause available for some new or special activity (as for rest or recuperation).