re·​spect | \ ri-ˈspekt How to pronounce respect (audio) \

Definition of respect

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a relation or reference to a particular thing or situation remarks having respect to an earlier plan
2 : an act of giving particular attention : consideration
3a : high or special regard : esteem
b : the quality or state of being esteemed
c respects plural : expressions of high or special regard or deference paid our respects
4 : particular, detail a good plan in some respects
in respect of
chiefly British : with respect to : concerning
in respect to
: with respect to : concerning
with respect to
: with reference to : in relation to


re·​spect | \ ri-ˈspekt How to pronounce respect (audio) \
respected; respecting; respects

Definition of respect (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1a : to consider worthy of high regard : esteem
b : to refrain from interfering with please respect their privacy
2 : to have reference to : concern

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from respect


respecter noun

Synonyms for respect

Synonyms: Noun

Synonyms: Verb

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Choose the Right Synonym for respect


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 respect in a Sentence

Noun The earth's crust floats over a core of molten rock and some of its parts have a tendency to move with respect to one another. — Mario Salvadori, Why Buildings Stand Up, 1990 Anyway any honor sent through the mail and cashable is about the only kind I got any great respect for … — Flannery O'Connor, The Habit of Being, 1979 Our ragged hero wasn't a model boy in all respects. I am afraid he swore sometimes, and now and then he played tricks upon unsophisticated boys from the country, or gave a wrong direction to honest old gentlemen unused to the city. — Horatio Alger, Ragged Dick, 1868 The Cat only grinned when it saw Alice. It looked good-natured, she thought: still it had VERY long claws and a great many teeth, so she felt that it ought to be treated with respect. — Lewis Carroll, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, 1865 He has earned their respect. The soldier saluted as a sign of respect. Despite our differences, I have enormous respect for him. I have a great respect for his accomplishments. I expect to be treated with respect. Your theory makes sense in one respect. Verb Many other critics respect her work, but marginalize her as "the best Polish woman artist" or "the best woman artist of Eastern Europe." — Andrew Solomon, New York Times Book Review, 21 Aug. 1994 He had a weak point—this Fortunato—although in other regards he was a man to be respected and even feared. — Edgar Allan Poe, The Cask of Amontillado, 1846 Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof … The Constitiution of the United States of America The students respect the principal for his honesty. I respect what she has accomplished. You must learn to respect other people's property. We need to respect the environment.
See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Winning the Big Ten, however, only earns a certain level of respect. Nathan Baird, cleveland, "Ohio State football can extend King of the North reign through non-conference scheduling: Buckeye Take," 20 June 2020 So are criticisms with respect to Amazon’s treatment of its workers, a large proportion of whom are African-American or Hispanic. The Economist, "And on the second day... Can Amazon keep growing like a youthful startup?," 18 June 2020 With respect to Floyd’s killing, one may wonder why the prosecution stopped short of seeking indictment for first-degree murder, which requires an intent to kill and carries a maximum sentence of life imprisonment. Jeannie Suk Gersen, The New Yorker, "How the Charges Against Derek Chauvin Fit Into a Vision of Criminal-Justice Reform," 17 June 2020 This is the main point of focus for Gardner, who says the first step is to look at Georgia law with respect to deadly force. Cara Kelly, USA TODAY, "Rayshard Brooks video: Legal scholars break down key moments in shooting timeline," 17 June 2020 The desire to be treated with respect and enjoy equal recognition as a fellow citizen and human being goes deeper than dollars and cents. William A. Galston, WSJ, "Aftershocks of the ‘Dream Deferred’," 16 June 2020 The Supreme Court has confirmed the simple but profoundly American idea that every human being should be treated with respect. Molly Longman,, "The Supreme Court Rules In Favour Of LGBTQ+ Worker Rights," 16 June 2020 If destinations broadened their marketing campaigns to include Black people, this could encourage hospitality staff and locals to treat Black travelers with respect. Shauna Beni, Condé Nast Traveler, "Black Travel Alliance Wants to Hold Travel Brands Accountable," 16 June 2020 Facebook commit to being neutral with respect to their employees’ and contract workers’ organizing efforts. Jamie L. Lareau, Detroit Free Press, "UAW demands apology, Congressional inquiry into Facebook over the word 'unionize'," 15 June 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb So much for 'please respect those who can not wear a mask'. David Oliver, USA TODAY, "American Airlines passenger removed from flight for not wearing face mask," 18 June 2020 In our school years, we Americans are not taught enough to respect and admire the cultures and contributions of countries with histories far longer than our own. Angelina Jolie, Time, "Angelina Jolie: The World's Refugee Crisis Is Bad Now—But It's Only Going to Get Worse," 18 June 2020 So much for 'please respect those who can not wear a mask'. Mike Brest, Washington Examiner, "Pro-Trump activist kicked off plane for refusing to wear a mask," 18 June 2020 Michael Pack swore before Congress to respect and honor the firewall that guarantees VOA's independence, which in turn plays the single most important role in the stunning trust our audiences around the world have in us. Brian Stelter, CNN, "Voice of America top officials resign as Trump-appointed CEO takes over international network," 15 June 2020 And quantum gravity therefore has no need to respect locality at such length scales. Quanta Magazine, "Why Gravity Is Not Like the Other Forces," 15 June 2020 Bailey, the teacher, hopes the state’s most powerful officials will respect the ruling. Allie Morris, Dallas News, "‘We’re seen as equal.’ What the Supreme Court’s landmark LGBT ruling means for Texas workers," 15 June 2020 But in healthy partnerships, as the relationship develops, a mutually comfortable balance is struck between connectedness and independence, and both people enjoy being together but also value and respect the other person’s need for time apart. Lori Gottlieb, The Atlantic, "Dear Therapist: My Boyfriend Won’t Let Me Have Male Friends," 15 June 2020 Yet statues also provide a record of a country’s past, and the desire to respect and understand that history of commemoration argues against dismantling them. The Economist, "Reckoning with the past How to handle racists’ statues," 11 June 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'respect.' 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 respect


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1560, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for respect

Noun and Verb

Middle English, from Latin respectus, literally, act of looking back, from respicere to look back, regard, from re- + specere to look — more at spy

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about respect

Time Traveler for respect

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Statistics for respect

Last Updated

24 Jun 2020

Cite this Entry

“Respect.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 2 Jul. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for respect


How to pronounce respect (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of respect

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a feeling of admiring someone or something that is good, valuable, important, etc.
: a feeling or understanding that someone or something is important, serious, etc., and should be treated in an appropriate way
: a particular way of thinking about or looking at something


How to pronounce respect (audio)

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

: to feel admiration for (someone or something) : to regard (someone or something) as being worthy of admiration because of good qualities
: to act in a way which shows that you are aware of (someone's rights, wishes, etc.)
: to treat or deal with (something that is good or valuable) in a proper way


re·​spect | \ ri-ˈspekt How to pronounce respect (audio) \

Kids Definition of respect

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : high or special regard : esteem
2 : thoughtfulness or consideration “Of course, we would wait the appropriate amount of time out of respect for my brother.”— Pam Muñoz Ryan, Esperanza Rising
3 respects plural : an expression of regard or courtesy pay my respects
4 : detail entry 1 sense 2 Our trip was perfect in all respects.
5 : relation to or concern with something specified I'm writing with respect to your ad.


respected; respecting

Kids Definition of respect (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : to consider worthy of high regard : esteem
2 : to pay attention to We respected their wishes.

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on respect

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for respect

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with respect

Spanish Central: Translation of respect

Nglish: Translation of respect for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of respect for Arabic Speakers

Comments on respect

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


See Definitions and Examples »

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

A More Exception(al) Quiz

  • hot dog  hot dog  hot dog  hot dog cat
  • Which of the following words is not a synonym for ‘a young person’?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Syn City

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!