es·​teem | \i-ˈstēm \

Definition of esteem 

(Entry 1 of 2)

1 archaic : worth, value

2 archaic : opinion, judgment

3 : the regard in which one is held especially : high regard the esteem we all feel for her


esteemed; esteeming; esteems

Definition of esteem (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1 archaic : appraise

2a : to view as : consider esteem it a privilege

b : think, believe

3 : to set a high value on : regard highly and prize accordingly an esteemed guest

Keep scrolling for more

Synonyms & Antonyms for esteem

Synonyms: Noun

account, admiration, appreciation, estimation, favor, regard, respect

Synonyms: Verb

admire, appreciate, consider, regard, respect

Antonyms: Noun


Visit the Thesaurus for More 

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


She has won esteem for her work with cancer patients. an athlete who is held in great esteem by her peers


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
See More

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The initiative, which William became patron of in 2009, aims to support children by helping to build their character and develop their self-esteem. Kara Thompson, Town & Country, "Prince William Visits a Children's Hospice That Was Opened By His Mother, Princess Diana," 18 Sep. 2018 The Shining Stars unit for special need campers from seventh grade to age 22 have camp activities provided with 1:3 counselor/camper ratios with a focus on teaching a variety of skills and improving self-esteem. Marvin Glassman, Jewish Journal, "Israeli counselors, several programs featured at Camp Shalom," 29 June 2018 There are many people with speech disorders who are in a worse position than my friend’s and struggle with self-esteem and confidence. Monica Rodriguez, Fortune, "Starbucks Barista Accused of Mocking Customer's Stutter Is Fired," 6 July 2018 There are many people with speech disorders who are in a worse position than my friend’s and struggle with self-esteem and self-confidence. Stephanie Petit,, "Starbucks Under Fire Again After a Barista Reportedly Mocked a Man's Stutter," 5 July 2018 There are many people with speech disorders who are in a worse position than my friend’s and struggle with self-esteem and self-confidence. Valerie Russ,, "Did a Philly Starbucks barista mock a customer with a stutter?," 2 July 2018 Studies and surveys galore confirm that the relationship women have with self-esteem is deeply intertwined with what they — and we, in the universal sense — consider attractive. Amy Keller Laird, Allure, "Miss America's Bikini Ban Is a Good Step, But It's Not Enough," 14 June 2018 That’s probably why those with lower self-esteem have more negative feelings after getting compliments, according to a study published last year in the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology. Suzannah Weiss, The Cut, "A Psychological Explanation for Why Compliments Are So Embarrassing," 17 Jan. 2018 Previous generations of royals picked courtiers and royals (both British and foreign) reflecting their esteem and respect. Caroline Picard, Good Housekeeping, "How Prince William and Kate Middleton Picked Prince Louis's Godparents," 9 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Does Dowling, the former longtime artistic chief of Minneapolis’ esteemed Guthrie Theater, push the almost vaudevillian streak of this staging a little far? James Hebert,, "'Tempest' a satisfying whirl of wit and wizardry at Old Globe," 24 June 2018 Gibson guitars have been esteemed by generations of guitar legends., "Senators band together to fight closure of Boston office that handles federal employee rights," 2 May 2018 Despite previous reports insisting that Brad Pitt and esteemed MIT professor Neri Oxman have a strictly-professional relationship, a source close to the actor told Us Weekly that a romance has indeed blossomed between the pair. Erica Gonzales, Harper's BAZAAR, "Brad Pitt Has Reportedly Been "Quietly Dating" MIT Professor Neri Oxman Since Last Fall," 11 Apr. 2018 Cresswell himself grew up in Liverpool, and got his start at Tranmere Rovers esteemed academy., "Everton Plotting Summer Move for West Ham Man to Compete With Injury-Prone Star," 8 Apr. 2018 Although Rabbi Shteinman was also esteemed as a great sage, his unofficial bailiwick was promoting lifelong Torah study by adult men, upholding standards of the yeshivas and finessing political dealings with the Israeli government. Joseph Berger, New York Times, "Aharon Leib Shteinman, Ultra-Orthodox Leader in Israel, Dies at 104," 13 Dec. 2017 Her suggestions are rather gauzy in the face of a new wing of America’s left that no longer esteems freedom of speech as a value worth fighting for. The Economist, "Rethinking free speech on campus," 14 Oct. 2017 He is highly esteemed by the coaching staff and the management., "Vincenzo Montella Stresses the Importance of His Side's Late Win Against Cagliari," 28 Aug. 2017 In 1974 and over the next 10 years after that, the American Double Dutch League hosted citywide competitions at New York City’s esteemed Lincoln Center. Danielle Young, The Root, "Watch: Is Double Dutch a Traditionally Black Sport?," 11 Aug. 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'esteem.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of esteem


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for esteem


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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about esteem

Dictionary Entries near esteem








Statistics for esteem

Last Updated

3 Dec 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for esteem

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for esteem



English Language Learners Definition of esteem

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: respect and affection



English Language Learners Definition of esteem (Entry 2 of 2)

: to think very highly or favorably of (someone or something)


es·​teem | \i-ˈstēm \

Kids Definition of esteem

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: respect and affection Her work with children has won her esteem.


esteemed; esteeming

Kids Definition of esteem (Entry 2 of 2)

: to think favorably of He was esteemed as a man of generosity.

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on esteem

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with esteem

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for esteem

Spanish Central: Translation of esteem

Nglish: Translation of esteem for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of esteem for Arabic Speakers

Comments on esteem

What made you want to look up esteem? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


amusing and light sparring with words

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Late Autumn 2018 Words of the Day Quiz

  • frosted-autumn-leaves
  • Which is a synonym of yahoo?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!