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

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 The series takes viewers inside the world of a strong Black family that conquers the barriers and importance of building respect alongside success. Deja Magee, Essence, 28 July 2022 The Teva deal is a first in a significant respect: Other agreements the drug companies reached with states and communities typically have not included Native American tribes. Meryl Kornfield,, 27 July 2022 Any advice would be appreciated as my respect for them has plunged. Abigail Van Buren, oregonlive, 22 July 2022 Our respect for paint and body experts increased with every cookie. Elana Scherr, Car and Driver, 13 July 2022 Biden, once López Obrador finished, reminded him that America’s economy is the fastest growing in the world, while showing no umbrage and restating his respect for Mexico and its leader. Tracy Wilkinson, Los Angeles Times, 12 July 2022 As a mark of our deepest respect for former Prime Minister Abe Shinzo, a one day national mourning shall be observed on 9 July 2022. Amar Nadhir, Washington Post, 8 July 2022 His respect for Razorbacks coach Sam Pittman and offensive line coach Cody Kennedy played a big part of his decision to be a Razorback. Richard Davenport, Arkansas Online, 4 July 2022 Zendaya is opening up about her love for her fans — and their respect for her personal life. Jen Juneau,, 29 June 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Allergies are not the only reason some humans don’t want to be around animals, and yes – pet stewards should respect other peoples’ choices. Amy Dickinson, cleveland, 26 July 2022 Allergies are not the only reason some humans don’t want to be around animals, and yes — pet stewards should respect other peoples’ choices. Amy Dickinson, Washington Post, 26 July 2022 Allergies are not the only reason some humans don’t want to be around animals, and yes – pet stewards should respect other peoples’ choices. Amy Dickinson, oregonlive, 26 July 2022 Nobody will respect you, unfortunately, if don’t do that. Globe Staff,, 15 July 2022 Nevertheless, the Baduy Luar villagers still deeply respect their traditions. New York Times, 11 July 2022 The gorgeous property was designed to respect its almost 100-year-old heritage. Shelby Knick, Forbes, 16 July 2022 The return of the islands to Saudi Arabia required Israeli assent because of its Camp David Accords, with Egypt and the Saudis agreeing to respect Israeli freedom of navigation. New York Times, 15 July 2022 Judith Altman is a Holocaust survivor who educates kids about how to respect and value one another. Susan Dunne, Hartford Courant, 15 July 2022 See More

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.

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

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

Dictionary Entries Near respect




See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for respect

Last Updated

31 Jul 2022

Cite this Entry

“Respect.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 9 Aug. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More Definitions for respect


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.

More from Merriam-Webster on respect

Nglish: Translation of respect for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of respect for Arabic Speakers


Test Your Vocabulary

The Great British Vocabulary Quiz

  • union jack speech bubble
  • Named after Sir Robert Peel, what are British police called?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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