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

reference, regard

Synonyms: Verb

admire, appreciate, consider, esteem, regard

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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


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.


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

At a recent campaign event sponsored by Planned Parenthood, Harris spoke about growing up and realizing that people treated her mother with less respect because of the color of her skin. Colby Itkowitz, Anchorage Daily News, "2020 Democrats rush to defend Kamala Harris against attacks on her blackness," 30 June 2019 After growing up in the Marx Nathan Home, Herb vigorously pursued an array of life experiences with a sense of adventure, strategy, charm and respect for all., "Deaths in South Florida: 6/29," 29 June 2019 Sincerest gratitude goes to the staff of Salmon Brook Center and Masonicare Hospice for their compassion, respect and care given to our family., "Lawrence Emerson Pierce," 28 June 2019 And in large part, that’s thanks to its heroine: prickly, sarcastic, unlikable Jane, who is furious with the world and furious with herself and who nevertheless demands respect. Constance Grady, Vox, "Jane Eyre is a startlingly modern heroine. A new ballet shows why.," 27 June 2019 In that moment, us adult children who still feel like orphans shared that loss, respect and love. Elaine Ayala,, "Father David Garcia has left an indelible mark on his hometown," 27 June 2019 The rights, respect, and visibility that the LGBTQ community has achieved would have been unimaginable at the time of Stonewall, Renna said. Annalisa Merelli, Quartz, "There is a radical new alternative to the NYC Pride march that rejects corporate influence," 27 June 2019 In addition to mattresses, Coco Mat makes premium bed linens and furnishings for homes and hotels, all with a focus on a respect for nature, sustainability, and using natural materials from renewable sources. Marc Davila, House Beautiful, "This Hotel in Greece Has the Best Mattresses You've Ever Slept on," 27 June 2019 But, with all due respect to Thailand and Chile, those were about as evenly matched as a race between Ferrari and a New York City bus. Joshua Robinson, WSJ, "The Soccer Team Built to Beat the U.S.," 26 June 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

There is no point in some states taking action if others do not bother, or if the federal government cannot get its act together, because energy markets do not respect state boundaries. The Economist, "America is not such a laggard on climate change as it seems," 28 June 2019 Some asked not to be contacted, so the board chose to respect their privacy, except when called out directly on social media. Christine Yu, Outside Online, "What Happened at the SHIFT Festival?," 25 June 2019 Michael is widely respected for his creativity, integrity, wit and passion. Carol Leblanc, Smithsonian, "Michael Caruso Steps Down as Editor in Chief of Smithsonian Magazine," 25 June 2019 Rare move Abdel Aziz’s decision to respect term limits and step down from office is uncommon among African strongmen rulers, especially those who came into power through coups. Yomi Kazeem, Quartz Africa, "Mauritania is set for its first ever peaceful transfer of power since independence," 24 June 2019 Instead of each camp championing its own view and demolishing others, researchers will collaborate and agree to publish in advance how discriminating experiments might be conducted — and then respect the outcomes. Quanta Magazine, "Neuroscience Readies for a Showdown Over Consciousness Ideas," 6 Mar. 2019 When visiting Terry Hershey Park, the public is encouraged to enjoy all open sections, to respect warning signs and trail closures and to avoid construction equipment. Staff Report, Houston Chronicle, "Flood Control District project under way in west Houston," 13 June 2019 The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, of which the U.S. is a cosignatory, includes, for example, the right to enjoy asylum from persecution, something that the Trump administration’s immigration policy has not always respected. Alexis Papazoglou, The New Republic, "The Sneaky Politics of “Natural Law”," 13 June 2019 Climbers need to have good ethics—such as taking responsibility for their actions, respecting local climbing traditions, taking care with the environment and so on—proper equipment and real mountaineering experience. Yana Wengel, Quartzy, "The deaths on Mount Everest prove adventure tourism is out of control," 11 June 2019

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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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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More from Merriam-Webster on respect

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with respect

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for 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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food or victuals

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