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

Synonyms & Antonyms for respectable

Synonyms: Adjective

esteemed, estimable, name, prestigious, recognized, reputable, reputed, respected

Antonyms: Adjective


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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

The theory that reducing inflation increases unemployment was still respectable in those days. Amar Bhidé, WSJ, "Congress Should Set the Fed’s Inflation Target—Ideally at Zero," 6 Nov. 2018 Cleveland is coming off an 0-16 embarrassment and can only hope to be respectable. David Ginsburg, The Seattle Times, "NFL 2018: Steelers poised to retain reign in AFC North," 28 Aug. 2018 In the hour or so that women's halfpipe dominated American television Monday night, Kim went from a respectable 10,000 followers to 100,000. Justin Kirkland, Esquire, "Olympic Snowboarder Chloe Kim Is Hungry and Hilarious," 13 Feb. 2018 The Huskies shot a respectable 42 percent from the field despite starting the game 4 of 20. Seattle Times Staff, The Seattle Times, "Huskies overcome miserable start to pick up road win at Colorado," 20 Jan. 2018 For the Truth the Turkey is in Comparison a much more respectable Bird. Taylor Mead, House Beautiful, "11 Thanksgiving Fun Facts You'll Want To Share On Turkey Day," 22 Aug. 2018 Mitchell has returned and is the lone starting pitcher with a respectable ERA despite rotating in Colin Rea and Robbie Erlin and Jordan Lyles in hopes of stopping the bleeding. Jeff Sanders,, "2018 Padres: An 'R.B.I. Baseball' simulation," 28 Mar. 2018 And as USA Today reports, the new series had respectable ratings — but nowhere near Roseanne's level. Megan Friedman, Good Housekeeping, "Here’s How the Ratings for ‘The Conners’ Stacked Up to ‘Roseanne’," 17 Oct. 2018 Loans in the consumer unit were up a respectable 6%, but business unit loan growth was slow at just 2%. Aaron Back, WSJ, "Bank of America Should Seize Its Moment," 15 Oct. 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

4 Jan 2019

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Time Traveler for respectable

The first known use of respectable was in 1599

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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).


involving abstract or general statements

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