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

Publicly, the two men have been respectful to each other, at a distance, since the 2016 election. Lindsay Whitehurst, The Seattle Times, "Now a candidate, Romney appears to embrace Trump presidency," 10 June 2018 All of us, Mizzou and South Carolina included, have obligations to promote a respectful environment for all student-athletes to compete in. Aaron Reiss, kansascity, "Mizzou AD Jim Sterk, South Carolina coach Dawn Staley settle defamation lawsuit | The Kansas City Star," 24 May 2018 This way, we can all be better informed—and respectful—about each other's health. Kendra Chanae Chapman, SELF, "I Have Severe Food Allergies, and These Are the 3 Comments I'm So Sick of Hearing," 14 May 2018 Everyone who works in the NFL, including cheerleaders, has the right to work in a positive and respectful environment that is free from any and all forms of harassment and discrimination and fully complies with state and federal laws. Molly Knight, Marie Claire, "NFL Cheerleaders Shamed for Being Too Sexy—and Not Having Sex at All," 1 May 2018 And uncles and cousins have told him of the importance of being respectful, even deferential, to police. Cleve R. Wootson Jr.,, "'First day of paper route and we are pulled over by police:' The latest in #LivingWhileBlack," 11 July 2018 The victim told police that the teens were respectful and began to leave when Sebby-Strempel began calling them names. Caitlin O'kane, CBS News, "Woman dubbed "Pool Patrol Paula" charged with assaulting black teen at swimming pool," 28 June 2018 The boy and his friends were respectful, even as Sebby-Strempel yelled at them, used racial slurs and even physically assaulted the teen. Monique Judge, The Root, "Crazy, Racist White Woman Assaults Black Teens and Insults Them With Racial Slurs at a Public Swimming Pool," 26 June 2018 The importance of how to smile, be respectful, be a good listener -- and mean it -- came through loud and clear. Phil Blair,, "The more people I talked to, the richer I became," 18 June 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

1 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

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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an open space surrounded by woods

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