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

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Other Words from respect


respecter noun

Synonyms for respect

Synonyms: Noun

Synonyms: Verb

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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.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Talent processes are frequently the least consistent area with respect to employee engagement, and this neglect is often the underlying cause for talent development and structure concerns. Jennifer Garrard, Forbes, "The Three Pillars Of Engaging Organizational Talent," 6 May 2021 The angle this net force makes with respect to the floor is very similar to the components of a real gravitational force down an inclined plane. Rhett Allain, Wired, "When You Jump to Hyperspace, Make Sure You Wear a Seatbelt," 4 May 2021 As with climate change itself, the effects of industry denial and obstruction with respect to the health risks of PM2.5 have fallen disproportionately on poorer communities and communities of color. Carroll Muffett And Kert Davies, CNN, "It's time to hold climate polluters accountable," 3 May 2021 Biden is restricted regarding policing reform, except with respect to federal agencies. Naomi Lim, Washington Examiner, "100 days: Facing uphill fights with Congress, Biden expected to turn to his pen," 29 Apr. 2021 These Terms form a binding legal agreement between Participants and TIME with respect to the Search., "Terms and Conditions: TIME’s 2021 Best Inventions Search," 26 Apr. 2021 In light of the above, one of Netflix’s glaring shortcomings, especially with respect to HBO, has been a relatively paltry selection of top-tier movie titles. Yoni Heisler, BGR, "Netflix finally fixed its only real disadvantage in the streaming wars," 26 Apr. 2021 To be sure, the hard count of how many people live in which states can only determine so much with respect to the power of individual states in, say, the presidential election or in deciding the balance of power in the US House., "Three political takeaways from the latest Census numbers for New England and beyond," 26 Apr. 2021 When pressed on privacy and security, not only with the data Moxie takes in but with respect to the content children are exposed to, Pirjanian acknowledged Embodied’s role in responsible use. Lindsey Tramuta, Fortune, "Rethinking social development for children with Moxie, an animated robot companion," 25 Apr. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb The uneasy compromise between the US Treasury and its central bank — dating from the accord of 1951 — requires each to respect the other’s role. Andrew Stuttaford, National Review, "Inflation, Interest Rates, and Janet Yellen," 6 May 2021 In the next three years, McConnell came to respect his adversary. Sam Knight, The New Yorker, "Nicola Sturgeon’s Quest for Scottish Independence," 3 May 2021 Sam Heughan is asking Outlander fans to respect historical shooting locations and not take home souvenirs, echoing a request from Diana Gabaldon, the author of the novels the drama is based on. Rosy Cordero,, "Outlander star Sam Heughan asks series fans to respect historic shooting locations," 2 May 2021 But no stopwatch is necessary to know teams will have to respect his speed. Hal Habib, USA TODAY, "Miami Dolphins draft speedy Alabama WR Jaylen Waddle No. 6 as target for Tua Tagovailoa," 30 Apr. 2021 In the age of grace, disciples are asked to respect the law of the land, not to mention the sensibilities and economics of one’s fellows. WSJ, "Immigration Is a Moral Issue, but Is Complex," 29 Apr. 2021 The petition also asks the company to respect workers’ breaks. Lauren Zumbach,, "Amazon settles complaints alleging it retaliated against employees for COVID-19 safety strikes," 29 Apr. 2021 The two programs have clashed many times since and grew to respect each other while butting heads and competing for championships. Tom Layberger, Forbes, "Hockey Teams Reunite In Tampa More Than One Year After Tournament In Belarus," 28 Apr. 2021 These culminated in the US Supreme Court’s infamous ruling in Dred Scott v. Sandford in 1857—the year in which Mexico wrote freedom into its constitution—that Blacks could not be American citizens and had no rights that white people had to respect. David S. Reynolds, The New York Review of Books, "When Slaves Fled to Mexico," 27 Apr. 2021

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.

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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

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Time Traveler for respect

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for respect

Last Updated

8 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Respect.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 18 May. 2021.

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More Definitions for respect



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



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.

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