re·​spec·​tive ri-ˈspek-tiv How to pronounce respective (audio)
: particular, separate
their respective homes
obsolete : partial, discriminative
respectiveness noun

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 Contact information for these entities should be available on their respective websites. Deborah Vankin, Los Angeles Times, 12 Feb. 2024 Travis and Jason Kelce's mom became a household name during last year's Super Bowl, when her sons faced off against each other in the big game between their respective Kansas City Chiefs and Philadelphia Eagles. Alexandra Schonfeld, Peoplemag, 11 Feb. 2024 The names are owned by the respective third parties. Miami Herald, 9 Feb. 2024 And yes, of course, Laneige and K18 would want Sydney Sweeney and Sofia Richie as their respective spokespeople, because who wouldn’t want skin like Sydney Sweeney’s and hair like Sofia Richie's? Marci Robin, Allure, 8 Feb. 2024 But any scenes pairing Mendes with Olin and Tomei, both captivating performers in their respective roles, truly light a fire under the proceedings, making the dialogue crackle and the connective conflicts percolate. Courtney Howard, Variety, 7 Feb. 2024 Porter says the decision about which celebs get their hands on the tickets is a collaborative process between F1, the teams and sponsors – with the focus on who can best promote the respective brands. Ben Church, CNN, 6 Feb. 2024 Members of each category vote to honor nominees in their respective categories — directors nominate directors, actors nominate actors, etc. — and all members are allowed to vote on Best Picture nominees. Marlow Stern, Rolling Stone, 6 Feb. 2024 For two episodes of character-building, Genius is on solid footing, showing how Young Malcolm and Young Martin’s respective strong-willed fathers (Lennie James as MLK Sr. and Gbenga Akinnagbe as Earl Little) shaped their early political upbringings in similar ways. Daniel Fienberg, The Hollywood Reporter, 31 Jan. 2024 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'respective.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1597, in the meaning defined at sense 2

Time Traveler
The first known use of respective was in 1597

Dictionary Entries Near respective

Cite this Entry

“Respective.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 22 Feb. 2024.

Kids Definition


re·​spec·​tive ri-ˈspek-tiv How to pronounce respective (audio)
: not the same or shared : separate
they hurried to their respective homes

More from Merriam-Webster on respective

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