es·​teem | \ i-ˈstēm How to pronounce esteem (audio) \

Definition of esteem

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : the regard in which one is held especially : high regard the esteem we all feel for her
2 archaic : worth, value
3 archaic : opinion, judgment


esteemed; esteeming; esteems

Definition of esteem (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to set a high value on : regard highly and prize accordingly an esteemed guest
2a : to view as : consider esteem it a privilege
b : think, believe
3 archaic : appraise

Keep scrolling for more

Synonyms & Antonyms for esteem

Synonyms: Noun

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

Synonyms: Verb

account, call, consider, count, hold, look (on or upon), rate, reckon, regard, set down, view

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

It can't be overstated the esteem in which Pepe is still held by his old colleagues. Matias Grez, CNN, "Lille and the making of Arsenal star Nicolas Pepe," 13 Sep. 2019 Studies have found that an arts curriculum in prison can reduce violent incidents, increase self-esteem among inmates and promote a stronger sense of self. Sam Tabachnik, The Denver Post, "“This isn’t ‘Orange Is the New Black'”: Colorado inmates take theater production on tour," 11 Sep. 2019 This research also shows that exercising in the outdoors can lead to stress reduction and an improvement in overall self-esteem. Stephanie Mansour, NBC News, "5 tips for exercising outdoors in warm weather," 9 Sep. 2019 Within the scope of these projects, there’s room to work on developing healthy self-esteem while also attempting to drop pounds. Sarah Todd, Quartzy, "Can you be body-positive and want to lose weight?," 4 Sep. 2019 The impact the former has on self-esteem can affect everything from disordered eating to personal ambition. Kate Harding, Teen Vogue, "How Far Have We Really Come for Fat Acceptance?," 26 Aug. 2019 Older adults who stay socially active and engaged experience a variety of benefits, including better cognitive function and greater self-esteem. Rebecca Maitland, Houston Chronicle, "Nutrition information: What you need to know," 16 Aug. 2019 In Praise of Effort The concept of mindsets was a direct response to the self-esteem movement. Lydia Denworth, Scientific American, "Debate Arises over Teaching “Growth Mindsets” to Motivate Students," 12 Aug. 2019 Also, yo-yo dieting is hard on your heart — and self-esteem. Christy Brissette, Washington Post, "What are ‘hormone diets’ — and can they really help you lose weight quickly?," 5 Aug. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

To you, the flirting was harmless, something to pass the time, or even boost your self esteem a little. Carolyn Twersky, Seventeen, "Is Flirting Cheating?," 9 Sep. 2019 Megan Fitzroy Phelan, a veteran of Manhattan’s esteemed Daniel restaurant and Sullivan Street Bakery, creates desserts, only subtly sweet, that are very much to my taste. Tom Sietsema, Washington Post, "In Richmond, two new enchanting reasons to drive and dine," 4 Sep. 2019 What modern Republicans and most gun rights advocates have forgotten is that the right to bear arms was always weighed against another right the Founders esteemed highly: the peace. Saul Cornell, The New Republic, "The Second-Amendment Case for Gun Control," 4 Aug. 2019 Texan Beto O’Rourke didn’t think to mention his state’s esteemed former Gov. Ann Richards. Monica Hesse, Washington Post, "The ‘Wife Guys’ of the 2020 presidential race," 20 June 2019 As the night's end neared, industry legend Clive Davis made the presentation for the Johnny Mercer Award -- an award so esteemed that only songwriters already in the SHOF are eligible to receive it -- to Carole Bayer Sager. Ed Christman, Billboard, "At 50, Songwriters Hall of Fame Ceremony Focuses on Creator Recognition With Star-Studded Event," 14 June 2019 In 2014, Botswana’s Okavango Delta became the 1,000th site inscribed on UNESCO’s esteemed World Heritage list. National Geographic, "Jewel in the Desert: Saving the Okavango Delta," 8 Apr. 2019 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

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 2


15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 3

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

24 Sep 2019

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)

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


es·​teem | \ i-ˈstēm How to pronounce esteem (audio) \

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).


a bell tower

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Where in the World? A Quiz

  • peter bruegel tower of babel painting
  • What language does pajama come from?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.


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!