1 of 2


es·​teem i-ˈstēm How to pronounce esteem (audio)
: the regard in which one is held
especially : high regard
the esteem we all feel for her
archaic : worth, value
archaic : opinion, judgment


2 of 2


esteemed; esteeming; esteems

transitive verb

: to set a high value on : regard highly and prize accordingly
an esteemed guest
: to view as : consider
esteem it a privilege
archaic : appraise
Choose the Right Synonym for esteem

regard, respect, esteem, admire mean to recognize the worth of a person or thing.

regard is a general term that is usually qualified.

he is highly regarded in the profession

respect implies a considered evaluation or estimation.

after many years they came to respect her views

esteem implies greater warmth of feeling accompanying a high valuation.

no citizen of the town was more highly esteemed

admire suggests usually enthusiastic appreciation and often deep affection.

a friend that I truly admire

Examples of esteem in a Sentence

Noun She has won esteem for her work with cancer patients. an athlete who is held in great esteem by her peers Verb I had esteemed the whole affair to be a colossal waste of time. although the works of the Impressionist painters are esteemed today, they met with scorn when they were introduced
Recent Examples on the Web
Active Time: 25 mins Total Time: 9 hrs Servings: 8 Native Virginian and 10th President John Tyler's official claim to fame is annexing the Republic of Texas into the United States in 1845, but culinary folklore holds him in equally high esteem for his cream-rich custard pie, a family recipe. Southern Living Test Kitchen, Southern Living, 22 Nov. 2023 For a long time, Putin himself held Israel in high esteem and enjoyed a close relationship with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Foreign Affairs, 10 Nov. 2023 Every opinion poll also shows that public esteem for the court has plummeted over the past two years. Matt Ford, The New Republic, 25 Aug. 2023 Showering can boost our self esteem, ease anxiety, and soothe stress. Christina Pérez, Vogue, 3 Nov. 2023 Eventually, a heart-to-heart chat between Jovi and his wife Yara Zaya led him to realize his behaviors had been harming Yara’s self esteem. Kelly Wynne, Peoplemag, 31 Oct. 2023 Under Biden, the esteem with which many once held the United States was largely restored after the unpredictable and tumultuous Trump era, especially in Europe and inside NATO. Tracy Wilkinson, Los Angeles Times, 13 Sep. 2023 Bedell Smith said there was still time for Charles to grow in people’s esteem. Karla Adam, Washington Post, 7 Sep. 2023 Would that all news organizations held us in similar esteem, rather than protecting us from the views of one side or the other. WSJ, 15 June 2023
Some members see in their cinema a gem of opportunity and esteem; others, a sign of mission drift. Gary Baum, The Hollywood Reporter, 26 Sep. 2023 How could those who claim to esteem traditional moral values—monogamy chief among them—support a profane libertine like Mr. Trump? Barton Swaim, WSJ, 4 Sep. 2023 These nutrient-dense superfoods have long been esteemed for their ability to fortify and support the immune system, with a rich history spanning centuries. Amber Smith, Discover Magazine, 4 Aug. 2023 Nevertheless, the executive producer of Surviving R. Kelly and esteemed hip-hop journalist dove back into the genre with a new lens, focusing on women. Robyn Mowatt, ELLE, 9 Aug. 2023 But investigating each of those possible suspects required the police department’s homicide squad, including the detective esteemed by his colleagues for an encyclopedic knowledge of the case dating back years. Gus Garcia-Roberts, Washington Post, 1 Aug. 2023 And while our Navajo Code Talkers are esteemed for heroically saving countless lives in the South Pacific during World War II, our uranium miners have largely been overlooked. Time, 21 July 2023 An obscure figure with a cultish following for much of his writing life, McCarthy had long been esteemed by members of the literati. Caine O'Rear, Rolling Stone, 3 July 2023 Barnes is, of course, one of Britain’s most prolific and eminent novelists, esteemed for his elegant and formally innovative, often intellectual, fictions. Matthew Gavin Frank, Harper's Magazine, 1 July 2022 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'esteem.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History



Middle English estemen to estimate, from Anglo-French estimer, from Latin aestimare

First Known Use


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 2


15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 3

Time Traveler
The first known use of esteem was in the 14th century

Dictionary Entries Near esteem

Cite this Entry

“Esteem.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 3 Dec. 2023.

Kids Definition


1 of 2 noun
es·​teem is-ˈtēm How to pronounce esteem (audio)
: the degree of respect or liking one has for something or someone
especially : a very favorable opinion


2 of 2 verb
: to think of in a particular way : consider
esteem it a privilege
: to think very highly or favorably of

More from Merriam-Webster on esteem

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