re·​spect | \ ri-ˈspekt How to pronounce respect (audio) \

Definition of respect

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a relation or reference to a particular thing or situation remarks having respect to an earlier plan
2 : an act of giving particular attention : consideration
3a : high or special regard : esteem
b : the quality or state of being esteemed
c respects plural : expressions of high or special regard or deference paid our respects
4 : particular, detail a good plan in some respects
in respect of
chiefly British : with respect to : concerning
in respect to
: with respect to : concerning
with respect to
: with reference to : in relation to


re·​spect | \ ri-ˈspekt How to pronounce respect (audio) \
respected; respecting; respects

Definition of respect (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1a : to consider worthy of high regard : esteem
b : to refrain from interfering with please respect their privacy
2 : to have reference to : concern

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Other Words from respect


respecter noun

Synonyms for respect

Synonyms: Noun

Synonyms: Verb

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regard, respect, esteem, admire mean to recognize the worth of a person or thing. regard is a general term that is usually qualified. he is highly regarded in the profession respect implies a considered evaluation or estimation. after many years they came to respect her views esteem implies greater warmth of feeling accompanying a high valuation. no citizen of the town was more highly esteemed admire suggests usually enthusiastic appreciation and often deep affection. a friend that I truly admire

Examples of respect in a Sentence

Noun The earth's crust floats over a core of molten rock and some of its parts have a tendency to move with respect to one another. — Mario Salvadori, Why Buildings Stand Up, 1990 Anyway any honor sent through the mail and cashable is about the only kind I got any great respect for … — Flannery O'Connor, The Habit of Being, 1979 Our ragged hero wasn't a model boy in all respects. I am afraid he swore sometimes, and now and then he played tricks upon unsophisticated boys from the country, or gave a wrong direction to honest old gentlemen unused to the city. — Horatio Alger, Ragged Dick, 1868 The Cat only grinned when it saw Alice. It looked good-natured, she thought: still it had VERY long claws and a great many teeth, so she felt that it ought to be treated with respect. — Lewis Carroll, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, 1865 He has earned their respect. The soldier saluted as a sign of respect. Despite our differences, I have enormous respect for him. I have a great respect for his accomplishments. I expect to be treated with respect. Your theory makes sense in one respect. Verb Many other critics respect her work, but marginalize her as "the best Polish woman artist" or "the best woman artist of Eastern Europe." — Andrew Solomon, New York Times Book Review, 21 Aug. 1994 He had a weak point—this Fortunato—although in other regards he was a man to be respected and even feared. — Edgar Allan Poe, The Cask of Amontillado, 1846 Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof … The Constitiution of the United States of America The students respect the principal for his honesty. I respect what she has accomplished. You must learn to respect other people's property. We need to respect the environment.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun That mutual respect jumpstarted an instant connection. Duane Rankin, The Arizona Republic, "'I actually wanted to come here': Torrey Craig finally lands with Phoenix Suns," 31 Mar. 2021 Then stay mostly quiet, perhaps expressing respect for Chinese culture. The Economist, "Consumer boycotts warn of trouble ahead for Western firms in China," 30 Mar. 2021 The vice president's press secretary has denied allegations that Harris lacks respect for the military. Mckenzie Sadeghi, USA TODAY, "Fact check: Claims that VP Kamala Harris refused to salute the military are missing context," 28 Mar. 2021 The league makes up a stunning one-quarter of the Sweet 16 — no other conference has more than two teams remaining — after entering with so little respect nationally that its top-seeded entry was No. 5 Colorado. Jeff Miller, Los Angeles Times, "Bill Walton on Pac-12 NCAA dominance: ‘This is the dream come true’," 26 Mar. 2021 Cheatom established the garden about 14 years ago as an urban sanctuary and outdoor classroom, to teach young and old about the role of plants and respect for the Earth, and about plants’ cultural significance to local and global Indigenous peoples. San Diego Union-Tribune, "WorldBeat’s EthnoBotany Peace Garden links serenity with learning," 26 Mar. 2021 That prompted another woman to scold her for not showing respect., "Suburban Denver gun store owner says Boulder shooting suspect passed a state background check before buying gun," 26 Mar. 2021 Mutual respect appears widespread among the Giants’ top prospects, and that’s a good sign for Zaidi, who figures to keep adding young players including at the July 31 trade deadline. John Shea, San Francisco Chronicle, "Giants' talented new-gen prospects determined to take next era by storm," 25 Mar. 2021 Once that respect is built, friendship can certainly follow. NBC News, "Mika's top-7 tips for college women preparing to enter the workforce," 25 Mar. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Barnes said the veteran players respect Bloom’s background., "The Red Sox’ Xander Bogaerts didn’t expect to be part of a rebuild in his prime. He hopes patience pays off," 27 Mar. 2021 The first episode of the limited series has already dropped on NatGeo and will continue over the next three weeks, but Aretha's family is hoping that fans will respect their wishes and honor her legacy by not engaging with the project. Ineye Komonibo,, "Here’s Why Aretha Franklin’s Family Has No “Respect” For The Docu-Drama About Her Life," 23 Mar. 2021 As the City of Galveston lifted its mask mandate this past week on the orders of the Texas governor, officials urged people to still respect the rules of business owners. Washington Post, "A maskless woman was handcuffed in a Texas bank one day after the state lifted its mandates," 14 Mar. 2021 Turn your ships around, return them to port, respect the freedom of navigation of the seas, and catastrophe may still be avoided. Elliot Ackerman, Wired, "2034, Part V: Sailing Into Darkness," 23 Feb. 2021 Sanders' touchdown run came on an option play, something Hurts is dangerous at because the defense has to respect him as a runner and passer. Martin Frank, USA TODAY, "Jalen Hurts, in first NFL start, enables Eagles to run over the Saints as Carson Wentz watches from sideline," 14 Dec. 2020 The commissioner of the state Department of Economic and Community Development, David Lehman, added that the state is looking for all businesses to respect state COVID rules. Emily Brindley,, "Daily coronavirus updates: Connecticut has reported more deaths in November than in the four previous months combined; 150 towns now on ‘red alert’ list," 25 Nov. 2020 Also, vaccinated people will still have to respect health measures, including face masks and social distancing. Chris Smith, BGR, "CDC guidelines updates with an important warning about coronavirus vaccine side effects," 18 Mar. 2021 The idea was dropped, and some observers say that Alabama Republicans, who tend to be a boys’ club, learned to respect her. New York Times, "‘Folks, We Are Not There Yet’: Alabama Governor Resists Calls to Lift Mask Order," 5 Mar. 2021

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


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1560, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for respect

Noun and Verb

Middle English, from Latin respectus, literally, act of looking back, from respicere to look back, regard, from re- + specere to look — more at spy

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Time Traveler for respect

Time Traveler

The first known use of respect was in the 14th century

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Statistics for respect

Last Updated

2 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Respect.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 10 Apr. 2021.

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More Definitions for respect



English Language Learners Definition of respect

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a feeling of admiring someone or something that is good, valuable, important, etc.
: a feeling or understanding that someone or something is important, serious, etc., and should be treated in an appropriate way
: a particular way of thinking about or looking at something



English Language Learners Definition of respect (Entry 2 of 2)

: to feel admiration for (someone or something) : to regard (someone or something) as being worthy of admiration because of good qualities
: to act in a way which shows that you are aware of (someone's rights, wishes, etc.)
: to treat or deal with (something that is good or valuable) in a proper way


re·​spect | \ ri-ˈspekt How to pronounce respect (audio) \

Kids Definition of respect

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : high or special regard : esteem
2 : thoughtfulness or consideration “Of course, we would wait the appropriate amount of time out of respect for my brother.”— Pam Muñoz Ryan, Esperanza Rising
3 respects plural : an expression of regard or courtesy pay my respects
4 : detail entry 1 sense 2 Our trip was perfect in all respects.
5 : relation to or concern with something specified I'm writing with respect to your ad.


respected; respecting

Kids Definition of respect (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : to consider worthy of high regard : esteem
2 : to pay attention to We respected their wishes.

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