re·​spect·​ful ri-ˈspekt-fəl How to pronounce respectful (audio)
: marked by or showing respect or deference
respectfully adverb
respectfulness noun

Example Sentences

the children were remarkably respectful while in the president's office
Recent Examples on the Web Only his hands are visible, according to the complaint, which contends that both images are considered valuable works of religious art and world history that belong in a classroom and are respectful and reverent to Islam’s founder. Maham Javaid, Washington Post, 19 Jan. 2023 Instead, reengineer that social contract—teammates can be respectful and caring while also challenging each other in the open. Jane Thier, Fortune, 30 Nov. 2022 But going inside of Kim’s head as a bassist was my first experience doing that, and trying to be as respectful to that as possible. Andy Greene, Rolling Stone, 27 Nov. 2022 Most of the hosts have been pretty respectful or moved on from the topic as quickly as possible. Vulture, 16 Sep. 2022 But now, since MeToo, people are more respectful of how women are exploited. Katy Waldman, The New Yorker, 25 Sep. 2022 With this information, Best Friends created a training plan for Jake that had the dog learning basic commands and being more respectful of boundaries in just a few weeks. Kelli Bender, Peoplemag, 8 Dec. 2022 Growing up in rural Arkansas, I was taught to be respectful of other people and to treat everyone the same. Arkansas Online, 28 Nov. 2022 That hasn’t materialized; Brooks has been largely respectful of every witness. Todd Richmond, Chicago Tribune, 23 Oct. 2022 See More

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.

Word History

First Known Use

1593, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of respectful was in 1593

Dictionary Entries Near respectful

Cite this Entry

“Respectful.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 Jan. 2023.

Kids Definition


re·​spect·​ful ri-ˈspekt-fəl How to pronounce respectful (audio)
: marked by or showing respect
a respectful manner
respectful of others
respectfully adverb
respectfulness noun

More from Merriam-Webster on respectful

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