re·​spect·​ful | \ ri-ˈspekt-fəl \

Definition of respectful

: marked by or showing respect or deference

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Other Words from respectful

respectfully \ ri-​ˈspekt-​fə-​lē \ adverb
respectfulness noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for respectful


deferent, deferential, dutiful, regardful


disrespectful, undutiful

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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

Among Brazilians who favored respectful, obedient, and good-mannered kids, four times as many chose Bolsonaro. Marc J. Hetherington, Vox, "How you think about raising children says a lot about your political views," 29 Nov. 2018 At future tournaments, FIFA hopes hundreds of millions of television viewers worldwide will get a more respectful view of women at games. Fox News, "FIFA wants fewer TV shots of 'hot' female fans in bid to tackle sexism in soccer," 2 Oct. 2018 An original element that needs to be replaced can be exchanged for contemporary materials in a way that is respectful to the past yet also forward thinking. Kate Wagner, Curbed, "To renovate or not to renovate?," 5 Sep. 2018 All her children are healthy, respectful, and loving. Andrea Park, Allure, "Victoria Beckham Is Being Mommy-Shamed for Brooklyn Having "Too Many" Tattoos," 26 July 2018 At future tournaments, FIFA hopes hundreds of millions of television viewers worldwide will get a more respectful view of women at games. Graham Dunbar,, "Sexism tops racism as a World Cup fan problem in Russia," 11 July 2018 My commentary on Instagram has been subtle, sometimes humorous, and certainly more respectful than his commentary on Twitter. Caroline Tanner, USA TODAY, "Photographer Pete Souza makes 'SHADE' he throws at President Trump official in new book," 23 May 2018 No, because Lowe’s onstage stories about the former president were charming and only slightly edgy, delivered with a dead-on Arkansas lilt that’s more respectful than buffoonish. Adrienne Wichard-edds, The Hollywood Reporter, "Rob Lowe Welcomes Sarah Huckabee Sanders, Sean Spicer Backstage at His One-Man Show," 15 May 2018 Here’s hoping Heath has a much more respectful return. Mike Bianchi,, "Former Orlando City coach Adrian Heath's return likely to be filled with tears and cheers," 9 Mar. 2018

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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Statistics for respectful

Last Updated

20 Jan 2019

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Time Traveler for respectful

The first known use of respectful was in 1593

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More Definitions for respectful



English Language Learners Definition of respectful

: showing or having respect


re·​spect·​ful | \ ri-ˈspekt-fəl \

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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