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

Rather, the two sides made more clear their respective positions. Alex Leary, WSJ, "Trump Bullish on China Trade Deal Ahead of Speech to U.S. Farmers," 14 Jan. 2019 Yet Delta and United showed improvement within four years of closing their respective mergers. Scott Mccartney, WSJ, "The Best and Worst U.S. Airlines of 2018," 16 Jan. 2019 Presumably, all those vehicles are in transit to their respective owners. Megan Geuss, Ars Technica, "Report: Tesla has more than 3,300 Model 3s remaining in US inventory," 31 Dec. 2018 By 2007, the respective percentages were 46 percent and 50 percent. Maude Campbell, Popular Mechanics, "The Complete History of the Autopsy," 26 Dec. 2018 Rather than trekking to Canada or NYC to celebrate the holidays with their respective fams, Hailey and Justin are currently chilling in Washington state. Alison Caporimo, Seventeen, "Justin Bieber Recreated A Date He Had With Selena Gomez With Wife Hailey Baldwin," 18 Dec. 2018 Both cards feature the families' respective signatures on the back. Chloe Foussianes, Town & Country, "Spanish Royals King Felipe and Queen Letizia Release Their Annual Christmas Card," 13 Dec. 2018 Floyd is survived by his siblings, including Dolly, Willadeene Parton, David Parton, Coy Denver Parton, Robert (Bobby) Parton, Stella Parton, Cassie Griffith, Randy Parton, Freida Parton, Rachel George, and their respective spouses and children. Taysha Murtaugh, Country Living, "Dolly Parton's Youngest Brother Floyd Parton Has Died at 61," 11 Dec. 2018 The country is divided up by the world’s major powers, each patrolling their respective sector borders with drones and peacekeepers. Andrew Liptak, The Verge, "Two unlikely cops are paired up to solve murders in a war-torn Tokyo in Ninth Step Station," 8 Dec. 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

5 Feb 2019

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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).


esteemed in general opinion

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