Difference between 休み and 休止?

Hi everyone!

It’s my first question here, so I hope I’m getting this the right way and at the right place :grin:

Can someone explain the concrete difference between 休み and 休止?
Here, they are defined as “rest, break, vacation, holiday” and “pause, rest, break”.
I get that 休み also means “vacation” or “holiday” then, but how should I know which to use if I just want to take about having a break or a pause e.g.?

Or am I maybe just confused because I have to learn words which are almost synonyms and it irritates me while doing my review? :thinking:




Hello and welcome to the community! Best of luck on your journey to the cake :slight_smile:

You can check out this thread (the first response seems to be pretty succinct). A general note: 熟語 (compound kanji words) tend to have a slightly more formal or adult tone to them, whereas kanji with hiragana attached tend to be slightly more casual or meant for all readers. This is a verrrrrry general trend, and only applies when words are near-perfect synonyms, but you can use it to learn what kind of language you can expect to counter in a given scenario.

Also, a holiday is a holiday. It’s a day. A rest or pause isn’t a determined amount of time!


Later on 休み will be used in combination with season like 夏休み (summer break, summer vacation), 冬休み (winter break, winter holiday), etc, so for me these longer expressions become common words, solidified after I heard them in some anime multiple times. Can’t say nothing about the other “rest”, it’s passive vocab for me at the moment.

Asking a question like this is a good way to remember confusing pair!


good thing my 夏休み isn’t a holiday only…

In UK English, “holiday” is synonymous with the US English “vacation”. :slightly_smiling_face:


@raephe リガとうございます!
These are really useful hints :pray:

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Thanks, that definitely makes it clearer why I have to learn them :smiley:
I’m looking forward to learning those useful vocabulary words soon :slightly_smiling_face:

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Okay perhaps I went a little too narrow. :sweat:

However, the sense that I’ve gotten from 休み (and holiday/vacation/etc) is that you have a pretty good idea of exactly how long it will be. Whereas a 休止 kind of rest or pause is a “rest until you aren’t tired anymore” short break.

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休み is like a break. It’s almost always used in a way to suggest a time to rest or relax. It can also be used to mean vacation such as 春休み or can be a break in the day such as 昼休み (an after lunch afternoon break which most school’s have).

休止 can also be used to mean a break and can be used as rest as well, but it can also be used for a more generic term for a pause or suspension to activity. For example if trains get delayed due to weather you might hear that train service is 休止. The trains aren’t “resting” so to speak, it just means that service is suspended.

So the most important difference (besides formality as others have explained) is that 休止 doesn’t JUST mean rest as related to human activity, but can also be used to represent a break in time or suspension of service.


For cases that aren’t related to people resting, what is the difference between 休止 and 中止?

Think of 中止 as more of a “cancellation” case of break/suspension.

For example, a local marathon was recently cancelled where I live, and what they actually told me was 「マラソンが中止された。」, a few other events were also cancelled this year and this is always the word that’s used (where I live).


中止 has to due with canceling/suspending some event like a meeting, sports event, a trip, etc.

I suggest using something like Weblio where you can find example sentences that use these words so as to provide this usage context.


As others have said, 中止 is more like a cancellation. It’s something that may or may not (but is assumed will not) resume.

休止 is more of a temporary pause and will (most likely) resume.


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