respect

1 of 2

noun

re·​spect ri-ˈspekt How to pronounce respect (audio)
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
3
a
: 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

respect

2 of 2

verb

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

transitive verb

1
a
: to consider worthy of high regard : esteem
b
: to refrain from interfering with
please respect their privacy
2
: to have reference to : concern
respecter noun
Phrases
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
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. See More
Recent Examples on the Web
Noun
This approach establishes credibility, fosters trust and commands respect, aiding in deal negotiations and overcoming industry challenges. Expert Panel®, Forbes, 1 Mar. 2024 After his mother had paid her respects, staff brusquely closed his coffin, even as those present pleaded to be allowed to say a proper farewell, according to Russian outlet Verstka. Catherine Belton, Washington Post, 1 Mar. 2024 His coffin was quickly closed and people were not allowed to walk past and pay their respects. Nick Spicer, NPR, 1 Mar. 2024 Celebrating the life of a Miami arts giant And on a somber note, Miami’s arts community will pay their respects to a legendary arts patron and philanthropist. Amanda Rosa, Miami Herald, 29 Feb. 2024 In the Heights’ Anthony Ramos turned down an offer to appear out of respect for his friend and Lopez’s ex-husband, Marc Anthony. Tatiana Tenreyro, The Hollywood Reporter, 29 Feb. 2024 With respect to the injuries, that’s where the evidence is different. Nancy Dillon, Rolling Stone, 28 Feb. 2024 Now 83, this Pabst Theater performance marks a rare chance for Milwaukee fans to pay their respects and hear his timeless contributions. Journal Sentinel, 28 Feb. 2024 Ivan Zhdanov, the director of Navalny’s Anti-Corruption Foundation, said in a statement Wednesday that the team had struggled to find a venue for the funeral and was blocked from hiring a hall so people could pay their respects to the popular anti-corruption campaigner. Alexander Smith, NBC News, 28 Feb. 2024
Verb
But those efforts have fallen well short of European hopes that China would use its considerable economic leverage and regular high-level communication with Russia, including between Xi and Putin, to end the conflict in a way that respected Ukraine’s territorial integrity. Simone McCarthy, CNN, 19 Feb. 2024 Just knowing that Steph wanted to do this as well, in terms of respecting another shooter. Shane Young, Forbes, 18 Feb. 2024 Public safety - ensuring the safety of residents while also ensuring their rights are respected. Noah Alcala Bach, Fort Worth Star-Telegram, 15 Feb. 2024 The guidance follows four main principles: Schools shall respect all students; parents have the right to make decisions with respect to their children; schools shall serve the needs of all students; and schools shall partner with parents. Karina Elwood, Washington Post, 15 Feb. 2024 Please keep your promises and respect their way of living and protect their properties. Evan Moore, Charlotte Observer, 14 Feb. 2024 On Tuesday, Moore denied that race played a role in the incident and defended the arresting officers’ actions, saying that under state law they were required to respect a citizen’s arrest request. Alexandra Del Rosario, Los Angeles Times, 6 Feb. 2024 The situation reflects broader challenges institutions face in addressing historical injustices, respecting communities affected by such practices, and balancing conservation and repatriation considerations. Melissa Noel, Essence, 5 Feb. 2024 Striking a balance between border security and humane treatment is essential, with discussions centering on effective measures respecting human rights and international obligations. Gillian Brassil, Sacramento Bee, 5 Feb. 2024 See More

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

Word History

Etymology

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

First Known Use

Noun

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb

1560, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

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

Dictionary Entries Near respect

Cite this Entry

“Respect.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/respect. Accessed 4 Mar. 2024.

Kids Definition

respect

1 of 2 noun
re·​spect ri-ˈspekt How to pronounce respect (audio)
1
: relation to or concern with something specified : reference
with respect to your last letter
2
a
: high or special regard : esteem
b
plural : expressions of regard or courtesy
pay my respects to your family
3
: detail entry 1 sense 1b
perfect in all respects

respect

2 of 2 verb
1
: to consider worthy of high regard : esteem
2
: to avoid interfering with
respected their wishes
respecter noun

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