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

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from respect


respecter noun

Synonyms for respect

Synonyms: Noun

reference, regard

Synonyms: Verb

admire, appreciate, consider, esteem, regard

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

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


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.


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.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Coming in third was a lack of sympathy, respect, or trust, with 34% of participants selecting this reason. Samantha Lauriello,, "The 4 Most Common Reasons for Divorce, According to Research," 8 Aug. 2019 The author, professor and speaker became a trailblazer in so many respects – the first Black woman to win a Nobel Prize in Literature, the first Black woman to become a senior editor at Random House, and the list goes on. Essence, "Photos Of Toni Morrison's Life Through The Years," 6 Aug. 2019 Tina Duncan, a German who is part of an international community based at Fort Bliss, took her two children to visit the memorial to pay respect to the victims, including one man from Germany. Dallas News, "While some in El Paso aren't happy about Trump visit, others hope city can teach him something," 6 Aug. 2019 He is also known for his integrity, faith, treating people with respect, and thinking outside the box. Rebecca Maitland, Houston Chronicle, "Realtor of the Week: Kyler Ferris," 4 Aug. 2019 In many respects, the second round of Democratic presidential debates represented a step forward in the fight against climate change. Emily Atkin, The New Republic, "Climate Change Is Finally Getting the Attention It Deserved 20 Years Ago," 1 Aug. 2019 There is often the idea that grief is a sign of love and respect. Jacy Topps, Allure, "The Complex Process of Grieving Your Abuser," 30 July 2019 These beautiful creatures deserve so much more respect than this. Megan Stein, Country Living, "Here’s Why Shark Week Is Causing Controversy This Year," 29 July 2019 In many instances, prefiguring modern Jordan’s respect for diversity, artisans of old covered the forbidden floor designs with geometric or calligraphic patterns, some of which are now being lifted to reveal the originals below. Andrew Solomon, Condé Nast Traveler, "Traveling Through Jordan’s Historic Ruins, Red Dunes, and Dead Sea," 24 July 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Childs Based on receiving options, Cousins should be more respected in 2019 in the high-stakes draft. Shawn Childs,, "Fantasy Football: 12 Sleepers Who Could Help You Win in 2019," 7 Aug. 2019 It was run by lawyers from the Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck law firm and also the lobbyist firm CRL Associates, Inc. What citizens wanted was not respected or even considered in this process. Dp Opinion, The Denver Post, "Letters: No unity in the analysis of Mueller testimony (7/28/19)," 28 July 2019 Mr Yang said that, nevertheless, the central government understood and respected Hong Kong’s decision to suspend that bill. The Economist, "Yet another tense and violent weekend puts Hong Kong on edge," 27 July 2019 Most importantly, there’s nothing toxic about wanting to be respected. Savvy Psychologist Ellen Hendriksen, Scientific American, "How to Fight Toxic Masculinity," 26 July 2019 Wheelock is a veteran of state government, academia, private business and philanthropy who is respected by both Democrats and Republicans. Dave Orrick, Twin Cities, "Still wondering why all that DHS drama? We pressed the new commissioner about it. Here’s our Q and A.," 19 July 2019 Both of the academics have been published extensively in medical journals and are well respected in the field — even if not by each other. Jayne O'donnell, USA TODAY, "Study linking vaping to heart attacks muddied amid spat between two tobacco researchers," 17 July 2019 By mocking and dismissing her colleagues in such a condescending way, Pelosi is signaling to not just her centrist House co-conspirators, but to the GOP that these women are not to be respected, trusted, nor taken seriously. Kirsten West Savali, Essence, "Opinion: Ocasio-Cortez Makes It Plain: Pelosi Is Being 'Outright Disrespectful' To 'Newly Elected Women Of Color'," 12 July 2019 Gerstenmaier is highly respected in the space community. Lee Roop |,, "NASA shakes up spaceflight leadership," 11 July 2019

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Keep scrolling for more

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.

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on respect

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with respect

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for respect

Spanish Central: Translation of respect

Nglish: Translation of respect for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of respect for Arabic Speakers

Comments on respect

What made you want to look up respect? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


a haphazard or makeshift solution

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Summer 2019 Words of the Day Quiz

  • a-bowl-of-peach-sorbet-with-cut-peaches-next-to-it
  • Which is a synonym of desideratum?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!