re·​spec·​tive | \ ri-ˈspek-tiv How to pronounce respective (audio) \

Definition of respective

1 : particular, separate their respective homes
2 obsolete : partial, discriminative

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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

Both Democratic New York State Senate candidates, Ramos and Biaggi won their respective primaries, defeating entrenched (male) incumbents. Mattie Kahn, Glamour, "Campaigns Are Like Marathons—It’s Better to Run One With a Friend," 18 Sep. 2018 Smith and Housley will probably emerge victorious in their respective primaries on Tuesday. Ella Nilsen, Vox, "The Minnesota primary elections, one of 2018’s fiercest battlegrounds, explained," 13 Aug. 2018 Dinger and Johnson were unopposed in their respective primaries. David Anderson, The Aegis, "McComas, Wagner win tight Harford primary races after final ballot canvass," 6 July 2018 Both strikers have scored twice at the World Cup tournament so far and are representative of the good form of their respective countries., "Luis Suarez Takes Antoine Griezmann Down a Peg or Two on 'Second Country' Uruguay Claims," 4 July 2018 In Nevada: -- Democrat Steve Sisolak and Republican Adam Laxalt won their respective gubernatorial primaries. James Hohmann, Washington Post, "The Daily 202: Mark Sanford’s primary loss shows the peril of crossing Trump," 13 June 2018 Jeff Flake of Arizona and Bob Corker of Tennessee, both critics of the President, dropped out of their respective primaries, in which, they were seen as insufficiently pro-Trump. Harry Enten, CNN, "Mark Sanford's primary problem shows Donald Trump's vice grip on the GOP," 12 June 2018 Unaffiliated voters — those who aren’t signed up with any party — can join the Democratic or Republican parties until noon Aug. 13 to vote in their respective primaries. Sandra Gomez-aceves,, "7 Questions Answered About Connecticut's August Primaries," 28 May 2018 In the Fifth Congressional District near Philadelphia, Republican Pearl Kim and Democrat Mary Gay Scanlon won their respective primaries on Tuesday, and will face off in the general election. Valentina Zarya, Fortune, "Meghan Markle, Women.NYC, Pennsylvania Primaries: Broadsheet May 17," 17 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 2

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Statistics for respective

Last Updated

14 May 2019

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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 How to pronounce respective (audio) \

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).


highly pertinent or appropriate

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