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 respectfully (audio) \ 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

Such parties are not, in general, openly opposed to liberal democracy or the rule of law; but some of their supporters are less than respectful of those values. Erasmus, The Economist, "Europe’s secularists worry about the rise of Christian-nativist populism," 11 June 2019 In fact, some critics have complained that the holiday has drifted too far toward frivolous fun, and should be restored to a more respectful observance. Brian Clark Howard And Sydney Combs, National Geographic, "Memorial Day's controversial history explained," 24 May 2019 In Così fan tutte, Robertson was respectful of the somewhat light-voiced singers, and attentive to the nuances of the production. Larry Wolff, The New York Review of Books, "‘Così’ in Coney," 27 Mar. 2018 Focht, who owns a software company and operates an 18-acre pig and chicken farm in the Sugarloaf area, said most cyclists are respectful of their surroundings. Jerry Fallstrom,, "Resurfaced Sugarloaf Mountain Road offers smoother ride for cyclists: ‘The road really looks nice’," 6 June 2019 The Padres have a large audience and missed out on an opportunity to be a good example of how to deal with bees in a respectful manner, Kearney added. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Padres face backlash for exterminating bee swarm during Sunday’s game," 3 June 2019 Booth, who started as an intern at McAlpine and is now a partner, wanted to be respectful of all that untamed lushness. Kathryn O'shea Evans, House Beautiful, "This Stunning Massachusetts Home is a Haven in the Trees," 3 May 2019 And everybody else has already done it on the show, so…. In the beginning, everyone was really respectful. Abby Gardner, Glamour, "Maisie Williams Opens Up About That Game of Thrones Sex Scene Between Arya and Gendry," 22 Apr. 2019 But then there’s the behaviors that are anything but respectful. Shannon Tompkins, Houston Chronicle, "Boat ramps a gateway to fun or frustration," 28 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

23 Jun 2019

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 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

What made you want to look up respectful? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to take the place or position of

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