re·​spect·​ful | \ ri-ˈspekt-fəl How to pronounce respectful (audio) \

Definition of respectful

: marked by or showing respect or deference

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Other Words from respectful

respectfully \ ri-​ˈspekt-​fə-​lē How to pronounce respectful (audio) \ adverb
respectfulness noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for respectful



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Examples of respectful in a Sentence

the children were remarkably respectful while in the president's office
Recent Examples on the Web My best advice to Mary Barra is be respectful and show up. Jamie L. Lareau, Detroit Free Press, "GM's Barra calls off meeting with Black-owned media for this instead," 1 Apr. 2021 To drive the message home, one of their servers, an art student, painted a woman wearing a mask on the restaurant's window with a caption that said masks are respectful, not political. David Williams, CNN, "Sign at Texas restaurant threatens a $50 fee 'If I have to explain why masks are mandatory'," 20 Mar. 2021 And Cornelius was respectful and got along with his coworkers, Bennett said. Bill Glauber, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Coworkers left struggling to accept, understand tragic loss of 'the two Kevins' at Roundy's Distribution Center," 18 Mar. 2021 The Trump statue has received much more respectful, gentler treatment at Louis Tussaud’s Palace of Wax in Grand Prairie, also owned by Ripley Entertainment. Randy Diamond, San Antonio Express-News, "A battered Trump takes refuge in San Antonio wax museum's storage, awaiting return to the limelight," 17 Mar. 2021 But Unkefer said the difficulty of avoiding people in a small town — and efforts not to burn bridges — creates accountability and can prompt respectful dialogue before an issue becomes too contentious. Star Tribune, "In evenly split Wisconsin, partisan divides may only grow," 30 Jan. 2021 Fortunately, some doctors and researchers are engaging in respectful dialogue. Jeanne Lenzer, Scientific American, "The COVID Science Wars," 30 Nov. 2020 The organization works to achieve quality, respectful, and equitable maternity care for all women by giving grants and working with partners to increase awareness and mobilize communities to take action. Monica Mendal, Vogue, "Designers and Artists Come Together for an Auction Benefitting Maternal Health," 15 Nov. 2020 But keeping an open, respectful, and loving perspective is the first step toward understanding. Sheena Louise Roetman, Woman's Day, "There Is a Big Difference Between Cultural Appropriation and Appreciation," 2 Oct. 2020

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

1593, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for respectful

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The first known use of respectful was in 1593

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Statistics for respectful

Last Updated

6 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Respectful.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 14 Apr. 2021.

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More Definitions for respectful



English Language Learners Definition of respectful

: showing or having respect


re·​spect·​ful | \ ri-ˈspekt-fəl How to pronounce respectful (audio) \

Kids Definition of respectful

: showing high regard or courtesy a respectful manner

Other Words from respectful

respectfully \ -​fə-​lē \ adverb We kept respectfully silent during the ceremony.

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Comments on respectful

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