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re·​spect ri-ˈspekt How to pronounce respect (audio)
: a relation or reference to a particular thing or situation
remarks having respect to an earlier plan
: an act of giving particular attention : consideration
: high or special regard : esteem
: the quality or state of being esteemed
respects plural : expressions of high or special regard or deference
paid our respects
: particular, detail
a good plan in some respects


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

transitive verb

: to consider worthy of high regard : esteem
: to refrain from interfering with
please respect their privacy
: to have reference to : concern
respecter noun
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
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.
Recent Examples on the Web
Families are also known to congregate at cemeteries to pay respect to deceased mothers, aunts, and grandmothers – particularly those who live in the provinces outside of the capital of Lima, said Gonzales. Mary Cunningham, CBS News, 12 May 2024 Those teachings — surprisingly to Noa — include having a respect for humans. Mark Meszoros, The Denver Post, 10 May 2024 See all Example Sentences for respect 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'respect.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


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

First Known Use


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1560, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

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

Dictionary Entries Near respect

Cite this Entry

“Respect.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 May. 2024.

Kids Definition


1 of 2 noun
re·​spect ri-ˈspekt How to pronounce respect (audio)
: relation to or concern with something specified : reference
with respect to your last letter
: high or special regard : esteem
plural : expressions of regard or courtesy
pay my respects to your family
: detail entry 1 sense 1b
perfect in all respects


2 of 2 verb
: to consider worthy of high regard : esteem
: to avoid interfering with
respected their wishes
respecter noun

More from Merriam-Webster on respect

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