re·​spect·​able | \ri-ˈspek-tə-bəl \

Definition of respectable 

(Entry 1 of 2)

1 : worthy of respect : estimable

2 : decent or correct in character or behavior : proper

3a : fair in size or quantity a respectable amount

b : moderately good : tolerable

4 : fit to be seen : presentable respectable clothes



Definition of respectable (Entry 2 of 2)

: a respectable person

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Other Words from respectable


respectability \ ri-​ˌspek-​tə-​ˈbi-​lə-​tē \ noun
respectableness \ ri-​ˈspek-​tə-​bəl-​nəs \ noun
respectably \ ri-​ˈspek-​tə-​blē \ adverb

Examples of respectable in a Sentence


She comes from a very respectable family. no respectable dietician would advise people to eat just one kind of food

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

Of course, while both had respectable showings — Reagan in 1968, Brown in 1976 — both lost. Joe Garofoli, San Francisco Chronicle, "Gavin Newsom for president? Might be a bit early for that," 6 June 2018 Charlotte seems intent on being respectable next season, but sooner or later, this team will probably need to hit the eject button. Rohan Nadkarni,, "Grades: Spurs Legend Tony Parker Leaving San Antonio for Charlotte," 6 July 2018 If the Dolphins can get off to a faster starts in games, produce more game-changing plays on defense and stop shooting themselves in the foot with flags, Gase’s team might have a chance to be respectable in 2018. Omar Kelly,, "Omar Kelly: Dolphins want your trust, but it must be earned | Commentary," 1 May 2018 If bars had previously been the domain of men, places that respectable women wouldn’t be seen, new social mores suddenly changed that. Esther Mobley,, "SF’s Interval puts the fern bar on a cocktail menu," 20 June 2018 Her all-time high score in bowling is a very respectable 150. Rick Barrett, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "New Berlin graphic designer named finalist in bowling shoe makeover contest," 11 July 2018 Today the sushi is respectable, if not on its own a reason to visit. New York Times, "The Restaurant That Became Japan’s Unofficial Ambassador," 3 July 2018 Take, for example, a pair of drivers who each posted respectable finishes in Sunday’s race. Jim Ayello, Indianapolis Star, "IndyCar racing with its new aero kits is 'awesome,' or perhaps 'bland'," 9 July 2018 Not even the team's general manager, Al Avila, knows if a respectable offer will land in his lap before the July 31 trading deadline. Shawn Windsor, Detroit Free Press, "Detroit Tigers bet on Michael Fulmer can pay off in ace or prospects," 9 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Shaken respectables thought the Paris Commune had crossed the Atlantic. Sean Wilentz, New York Times, "When Corruption and Venality Were the Lifeblood of America," 19 Sep. 2017

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


1599, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1814, in the meaning defined above

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Statistics for respectable

Last Updated

8 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for respectable

The first known use of respectable was in 1599

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More Definitions for respectable



English Language Learners Definition of respectable

: considered to be good, correct, or acceptable : decent or correct in character, behavior, or appearance

: fairly good


re·​spect·​able | \ri-ˈspek-tə-bəl \

Kids Definition of respectable

1 : decent or correct in conduct : proper They're respectable people.

2 : fit to be seen : presentable Wear something respectable.

3 : deserving high regard She acted in a respectable manner.

4 : fair in size or quantity We collected a respectable amount.

Other Words from respectable

respectably \ -​blē \ adverb

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Comments on respectable

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


noxious or harmful

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