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 Those things were coming from a different era when people were conscious of respect, and how to teach your fellow human beings. Ashley Lee, Los Angeles Times, "Q&A: Beau Bridges channels his former basketball coach, UCLA legend John Wooden," 16 Sep. 2019 And in his prime, her husband was ruthless and brilliant old school Chicago Irish pol worthy of respect in a tough business. John Kass,, "Column: Chicagoans aren’t born cynics. We’ve just had it beaten into us from birth with stories like this one.," 13 Sep. 2019 Barnett, who is a former two-time UFC Heavyweight champion, has also built an enormous amount of respect in pro wrestling. Justin Barrasso,, "Josh Barnett’s ‘Bloodsport’ Marries Pro Wrestling and MMA," 13 Sep. 2019 One possibility is an evolved respect for those with a higher social position. The Economist, "The eyes have it," 12 Sep. 2019 Nick Saban is notorious for shutting down in the second half against inferior opponents out of respect. Christopher Smith, al, "Week 2 SEC football betting preview," 7 Sep. 2019 The new Sauvage film is a powerful tribute to this culture, portrayed here with immense respect. Lindsay Weinberg, The Hollywood Reporter, "Dior Deletes Johnny Depp Sauvage Ad Amidst Backlash for Native American Depiction," 30 Aug. 2019 Axemen were treated with respect and had connections to important people. Sean Williams, Harper's magazine, "The Black Axe," 19 Aug. 2019 Similar skepticism is justified with respect to how Amundi’s performance ranks against that of its peers. Washington Post, "The Perils of Fund Underperformance," 18 Sep. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb David was active in both state and nationwide educational associations where he was loved and respected., "David J. Calchera," 15 Sep. 2019 More respected at the time, and more effective in actually destroying slavery, were the pro-Constitution abolitionists who advanced both political and legal arguments instrumental to the institution’s demise. Timothy Sandefur, National Review, "The Anti-Slavery Constitution," 12 Sep. 2019 He is equally loved and respected, and treated with a reverence usually reserved for royalty. Karen Lubeck, Town & Country, "Why Wine Lovers Flock to Washington State," 29 Aug. 2019 Miller said Uber officials met with Price and respects his concerns. Melissa Repko, Dallas News, "Uber makes it official: It will set up major hub in downtown Dallas by end of year," 20 Aug. 2019 Having a professional certification is highly respected in the HSE field. Rebecca Maitland, Houston Chronicle, "HSE teams secure range of safety areas," 16 Sep. 2019 All our players need to be respected, imagine trying to abuse your own player through social media., "Pep Guardiola Issues Warning to 'Champions' Liverpool Despite Man City's Loss at Norwich," 15 Sep. 2019 Brazil shows the catastrophe that happens when nature and indigenous peoples are not respected. Benki Pyãnko, Time, "'It Is Our Very Governments Who Are Killing the Earth.' A Brazilian Indigenous Leader Speaks Out On Deforestation in the Amazon," 13 Sep. 2019 Hudson played through kidney stones at the end of the 2017 season and is respected by teammates and coaches for his durability and study habits. Matt Kawahara,, "Raiders sign center Rodney Hudson to three-year extension," 30 Aug. 2019

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

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).


the exactly right word or phrasing

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Pass the Little Ribbons: A Pasta Word Quiz

  • rotelle pasta
  • Match the pasta to its meaning in English: Rotelle
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Dictionary Devil

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!