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

The two offered competing talking points similar to those that worked well for each of them in their respective presidential campaigns: Trump focused on fear-mongering, while Obama focused on the need for unity. Christianna Silva, Teen Vogue, "Barack Obama and Donald Trump Brought Their Respective Brands of Hope and Fear to the 2018 Midterm Campaign Trail," 5 Nov. 2018 On the wheelchair side, Marcel Hug and Manuela Schär—both from Switzerland and the respective men’s and women’s winners from last year—will race again this year. Jenny Mccoy, SELF, "What You Need to Know Before Watching the 2018 New York City Marathon," 25 Oct. 2018 However, the pair only starting dating earlier this year, after both had ended their respective relationships. Amy Mackelden, Harper's BAZAAR, "Ariana Grande and Pete Davidson Have Ended Their Engagement and I'm Already Crying," 14 Oct. 2018 These women are making strides and leaving their marks in their respective industries—and each has her own unique (and extremely shoppable) style. Michaela Bechler, Vogue, "Shop Fall Fashion Inspired by 14 Real Working Women," 20 Sep. 2018 The biggest cities — Nassau, Freeport, and Andros and their respective islands — attract the most visitors coming through the Bahamas, but the country actually includes more than 700 islands, cays, and islets dotted across its tropical waters. Caroline Picard, Good Housekeeping, "How to Vacation Like the Royal Family in the Bahamas," 30 Aug. 2018 Representing their respective clubs in the best manner possible comes standard when the five local clubs get together. Andrew Turner,, "Local clubs hope to have good showing in the Jones Cup," 24 June 2018 Canadians Jim Cuddy, Éric Lapointe and Coeur De Pirate also had top selling album sales totals the first week of their respective album releases. Karen Bliss, Billboard, "Drake Cleans Up & Streaming Continues to Grow in Nielsen Music Canada's Mid-Year 2018 Report," 12 July 2018 Both Victoria and David were global superstars for their respective careers (Victoria, a member of the iconic Spice Girls group; David, an international football phenom)., "Definitive Proof That The Beckhams Just Keep Getting Hotter," 5 July 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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Statistics for respective

Last Updated

12 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for respective

The first known use of respective was in 1597

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More Definitions for respective



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).


noxious or harmful

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