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 The made free throws — as well as Lamb driving home alone after the team plane landed —earned even more respect from his teammates, who were told the news before the start of Monday’s practice. Nathan Brown, Indianapolis Star, "Oladipo understands the frustration of Lamb's season-ending injury: 'He's gotta embrace the process'," 24 Feb. 2020 But the images generated widespread anger in Gaza, where it was seen as a provocation and violation of Islamic principles that call for respect for the dead. Washington Post, "Israel strikes Gaza, Syria after Palestinian rockets attacks," 24 Feb. 2020 Parker, a Republican, was someone whose expertise and sense of fairness commanded bipartisan respect from the local legal community. Gilbert Garcia,, "Garcia: San Antonio judge has forfeited her right to another term," 22 Feb. 2020 He's gained respect for previous work like his Buck Fifty hat line and Mitchell & Ness designs, but this new project holds the most significance. Mark Elibert, Billboard, "Why Designer Don C Is Honoring Chicago With His Nike Air Force 1 Collaboration With Amex," 17 Feb. 2020 The White Sox are getting a lot of respect from the oddsmakers at BetMGM at +350 and, in our view, Chicago has the talent to jump past Cleveland. John Holler, USA TODAY Sportsbook Wire, "How many games will the Chicago White Sox win in 2020?," 15 Feb. 2020 Carolyn admits to being Team John, swayed by his mature demeanor and proven respect for Lara Jean. Tamara Fuentes, Seventeen, "Peter Kavinsky vs. John Ambrose McClaren: Who Deserves Lara Jean More After "To All the Boys 2"," 12 Feb. 2020 Chiang Kai-shek, the Chinese Nationalist leader who fled the newly Communist mainland in 1949 to set up a stronghold in Taiwan, envisioned a Confucian society with respect for the past, along with a Western-friendly form of capitalism. Chris Schalkx, Condé Nast Traveler, "A Road Trip Through Taiwan's Hot Springs and Tea Plantations," 7 Feb. 2020 So the same myths about our foreign rivals are parroted over the decades: They only respect strength; it’s Munich again; the people hate the regime and will welcome American intervention. Alex Pareene, The New Republic, "Psychopath Nation," 10 Feb. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Choose us for news analysis that respects your time and intelligence Get up to 80% off a quarterly subscription with The Economist View subscription options Cancel at any time. The Economist, "Daily chart Single women are losing out in the property market," 25 Feb. 2020 Making someone look and feel completely different by using makeup is, undoubtedly, a skill — and one that’s always going to be respected and emulated. Olivia Muenter, Allure, "12 Influencers Proving There's More Than One Way to Do "Instagram Makeup”," 17 Feb. 2020 There were some people who saw Lucas’s point of view, or at least seemed to respect his opinion. Megan Stein, Country Living, "NCIS: NOLA’s Lucas Black Faced Serious Backlash for a Scathing Super Bowl Tweet," 8 Feb. 2020 But that player has to be respected, too, and that’s the hard thing. Chris Solari, Detroit Free Press, "Michigan State basketball searches for fierce leadership heading into stretch run," 7 Feb. 2020 The board will handle an infinitesimal slice of those, maybe 25 or 30 in its first year—and Facebook is obliged to respect its decisions only in those individual cases. Steven Levy, Wired, "Why Mark Zuckerberg’s Oversight Board May Kill His Political Ad Policy," 28 Jan. 2020 Even his former enemies respect his change of heart. Alex Cuadros, Harper's magazine, "“My Gang Is Jesus”," 20 Jan. 2020 But no good memories, other than just respecting them. Jeff Potrykus, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Purdue's Mackey Arena has been a house of horrors for UW, which is just 4-40 in the iconic venue," 24 Jan. 2020 There’s something to be respected about fungi, the not-animal/not-plant that can exist for years in a dormant state, invisibly surviving when water and conditions aren’t ideal, popping back up again when the rains finally return. Ellen Fort, Sunset Magazine, "The Ultimate Mushroom Trip? A Foraging Weekend in Big Sur," 15 Jan. 2020

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

27 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Respect.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 29 Feb. 2020.

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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.

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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

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