re·spec·tive | \ ri-ˈspek-tiv \

Definition of respective 

1 obsolete : partial, discriminative

2 : particular, separate their respective homes

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Other words from respective

respectiveness noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for respective


different, individual, separate



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Examples of respective in a Sentence

it was late when the concert let out, so we all went our respective ways

Recent Examples on the Web

Judges Barrett and Kethledge—both considered finalists for the nomination—were still in their respective home states of Indiana and Michigan, watchers said. Louise Radnofsky, WSJ, "Trump Settles on Supreme Court Selection, but Mum for Now," 9 July 2018 The two men grew estranged over the Lewinsky scandal, so much so that Gore used Clinton sparingly in their respective home states of Tennessee and Arkansas. Erik Spanberg, The Christian Science Monitor, "'First In Line' profiles modern vice presidents from Nixon to Pence," 9 July 2018 Both actors have fewer than 30 credits to their names yet represent their respective states on our list. 1. Charles Stockdale, USA TODAY, "The 50 most famous actors from the 50 states," 8 July 2018 All were moved to fight for certain issues in their respective communities, from police brutality, to illnesses caused by the coal industry, to the broken health-care system. Yohana Desta, HWD, "The Establishment Didn’t Think Ocasio-Cortez Could Win—But This Documentary Filmmaker Did," 29 June 2018 Attorneys for ExxonMobil want to question under oath the officials who signed off on their respective community’s lawsuits against energy companies, including Dedina and two others from Imperial Beach. Rob Nikolewski,, "Imperial Beach pushes forward with lawsuit against oil companies," 27 June 2018 Better yet, after a brief delay, his choice was approved by the king, a job held in rotation among the country’s nine sultans, who are the leaders of Islam in their respective states. The Economist, "Malaysia’s ruling party may be gone, but its racial policies survive," 7 June 2018 That same year, two former state attorneys general, California’s Kamala Harris and Nevada’s Catherine Cortez Masto, both won races to become U.S. senators for their respective states. Sarah Jones, The New Republic, "Keith Ellison is leaving Congress.," 5 June 2018 The election brought several victories for Democratic women in their respective states; here are some key takeaways from the evening’s tightest races: Georgia made history with the state’s first woman nominee for governor. Linley Sanders, Teen Vogue, "Stacey Abrams Won Georgia's Primary and Could Be the Nation's First Black Woman Governor," 23 May 2018

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

1597, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Last Updated

17 Sep 2018

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Time Traveler for respective

The first known use of respective was in 1597

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English Language Learners Definition of respective

: belonging or relating to each one of the people or things that have been mentioned


re·spec·tive | \ ri-ˈspek-tiv \

Kids Definition of respective

: not the same or shared : separate They hurried to their respective homes.

Other words from respective

respectively adverb

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Comments on respective

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


an open space surrounded by woods

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