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An act by which a debtor who is unable to satisfy his debts at the moment, transacts (i. e. compromises) with his creditors, and obtains from them time or delay for the payment of the sums which he owes to them.The respite is either voluntary or forced; it is voluntary when all the creditors consent to the proposal, which the debtor makes to pay in a limited time the whole or a part of his debt; it is forced when a part of the creditors refuse to accept the debtor's proposal, and when the latter is obliged to compel them by judicial authority, to consent to what the others have deter-mined in the cases directed by law.
Respite also signifies a delay, forbearance or continuation of time.
crim. law. A suspension of a sentence, which is to be executed at a future time. It differs from a pardon, which is in abolition of the crime.