Respect | Definition of Respect by Merriam-Webster


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 The survey also found just 39 percent of residents thought police provided people in their community with fair outcomes, 35 percent thought the police were honest, and 39 percent thought the police treated Little Earth residents with respect. Robert Klemko, Washington Post, "Members Of Little Earth Protectors Pratol Their Community," 12 Apr. 2021 This card is about dignity, respect and fair treatment in your workplace. William Thornton |, al, "Alabama Amazon union vote count Day 2: Here are the latest ballot numbers," 9 Apr. 2021 Now that the Georgia site is open to the public again, the Forest Service has asked visitors to protect the etchings, report vandalism and treat the area with respect. Isis Davis-marks, Smithsonian Magazine, "Vandals Deface ‘Irreplaceable’ Native American Rock Carvings in Georgia," 9 Apr. 2021 Demonstrate to employees that the process supports all points of view with dignity and respect — as long as behaviors remain aligned with values at all times. Larry Dunivan, Forbes, "Managing Employee Activism: Not For The Faint Of Heart," 7 Apr. 2021 Earlier, under questioning by prosecutor Steve Schleicher, Arradondo emphasized that the department values treating others with dignity and respect. Erin Donaghue, CBS News, "Minneapolis police chief testifies Chauvin's actions violated policy," 6 Apr. 2021 Many smaller-scale operations outside Big Ag produce food without pesticides, without monoculture, with manure instead of chemical fertilizers, and with respect for biodiversity and soil health. Annie Lowrey, The Atlantic, "The 2 Rules for Eating to Fight Climate Change," 6 Apr. 2021 Organizers there want Amazon to pay workers more, give them more break time and to be treated with respect. Joseph Pisani, Star Tribune, "Labor board says Amazon illegally fired outspoken workers," 5 Apr. 2021 Organizers there want Amazon to pay workers more, give them more break time and to be treated with respect. Joseph Pisani, ajc, "Labor board says Amazon illegally fired outspoken workers," 5 Apr. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb When clients fail to respect your work output, or cannot organize themselves to approve and publish on schedule, put them on notice, then terminate. Expert Panel®, Forbes, "Need To ‘Break Up’ With A Client? 15 Tactful Strategies For Parting Ways," 18 Mar. 2021 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

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

14 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

Respect.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 19 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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