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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Choose the Right Synonym for respect


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 So the same myths about our foreign rivals are parroted over the decades: They only respect strength; it’s Munich again; the people hate the regime and will welcome American intervention. Alex Pareene, The New Republic, "Psychopath Nation," 10 Feb. 2020 That's because, with all due respect to work put in by the nominees and winners, the red carpet is the main event for most of us. Elizabeth Siegel, Allure, "The Best Oscars Beauty Looks of All Time," 6 Feb. 2020 Still, an Academy Award bestows industry respect—and bragging rights. Paula Bernstein, Fortune, "How much is an Oscar worth?," 5 Feb. 2020 To watch Probst talk about some of the players fighting for respect, watch the video at the top of the post. Dalton Ross,, "Jeff Probst on Survivor: Winners at War players fighting for respect," 1 Feb. 2020 But just one year of support and respect wasn’t enough to cleanse me of 18 years of believing that cisgender bodies were the default of beauty. Sam Kiss, Teen Vogue, "Following Trans People on Instagram Helped Me Accept Myself," 31 Jan. 2020 Executives expect both protection and respect for their privacy. Robin Gould-soil, Quartz at Work, "The need for executive protection is increasingly digital," 29 Jan. 2020 But my kids are people, extraordinary, loving people who deserve respect, as does Nick. The Washington Post, "Carolyn Hax Live (Jan 24)," 24 Jan. 2020 Are Russians not worthy of respect, because of their skin color? Ayşegül Savaş, Longreads, "In Defense of Boris the Russki," 22 Jan. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb But no good memories, other than just respecting them. Jeff Potrykus, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Purdue's Mackey Arena has been a house of horrors for UW, which is just 4-40 in the iconic venue," 24 Jan. 2020 There’s something to be respected about fungi, the not-animal/not-plant that can exist for years in a dormant state, invisibly surviving when water and conditions aren’t ideal, popping back up again when the rains finally return. Ellen Fort, Sunset Magazine, "The Ultimate Mushroom Trip? A Foraging Weekend in Big Sur," 15 Jan. 2020 Grisham insisted that the White House respects the Dingell's family's public service. Arkansas Online, "U.S. Rep. French Hill, others criticize Trump's quip about late lawmaker," 19 Dec. 2019 The speaker told her to put her jacket back on and to respect the Westminster dress code. Arnaud Montreuil, Quartz at Work, "Is the world ready for politicians to dress in workplace casual?," 20 Nov. 2019 These are managers who were highly respected and led their teams to World Series titles, paraded through their municipalities as champions and figured to keep their prestigious jobs a long time. John Shea,, "Why Astros and Red Sox should hire managers such as Bruce Bochy and Dusty Baker," 14 Jan. 2020 This is about the integrity of the game, and what happens when an organization sees it as something to be manipulated rather than something to be respected. Nancy Armour, USA TODAY, "Opinion: Former Houston Astros execs sold out baseball, should never be near game again," 13 Jan. 2020 He was widely respected in eastern Europe for his support for dissidents during Communist rule. Washington Post, "Conservative philosopher Roger Scruton dies at 75," 13 Jan. 2020 But there's a difference between a U.S. president who is disliked versus one who isn't respected around the globe. NBC News, "Meet the Press - January 12, 2020," 12 Jan. 2020

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

13 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Respect.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for respect


How to pronounce respect (audio)

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


How to pronounce respect (audio)

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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More from Merriam-Webster on respect

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for respect

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with respect

Spanish Central: Translation of respect

Nglish: Translation of respect for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of respect for Arabic Speakers

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