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[ri-spekt] /rɪˈspɛkt/
a particular, detail, or point (usually preceded by in):
to differ in some respect.
relation or reference:
inquiries with respect to a route.
esteem for or a sense of the worth or excellence of a person, a personal quality or ability, or something considered as a manifestation of a personal quality or ability:
I have great respect for her judgment.
deference to a right, privilege, privileged position, or someone or something considered to have certain rights or privileges; proper acceptance or courtesy; acknowledgment:
respect for a suspect's right to counsel; to show respect for the flag; respect for the elderly.
the condition of being esteemed or honored:
to be held in respect.
respects, a formal expression or gesture of greeting, esteem, or friendship:
Give my respects to your parents.
favor or partiality.
Archaic. a consideration.
verb (used with object)
to hold in esteem or honor:
I cannot respect a cheat.
to show regard or consideration for:
to respect someone's rights.
to refrain from intruding upon or interfering with:
to respect a person's privacy.
to relate or have reference to.
in respect of, in reference to; in regard to; concerning.
in respect that, Archaic. because of; since.
pay one's respects,
  1. to visit in order to welcome, greet, etc.:
    We paid our respects to the new neighbors.
  2. to express one's sympathy, especially to survivors following a death:
    We paid our respects to the family.
with respect to, referring to; concerning:
with respect to your latest request.
1300-50; (noun) Middle English (< Old French) < Latin respectus action of looking back, consideration, regard, equivalent to respec-, variant stem of respicere to look back (re- re- + specere to look) + -tus suffix of v. action; (v.) < Latin respectus past participle of respicere
Related forms
quasi-respected, adjective
underrespected, adjective
unrespected, adjective
well-respected, adjective
1. regard, feature, matter. 2. regard, connection. 3. estimation, reverence, homage, honor. Respect, esteem, veneration imply recognition of personal qualities by approbation, deference, and more or less affection. Respect is commonly the result of admiration and approbation, together with deference: to feel respect for a great scholar. Esteem is deference combined with admiration and often with affection: to hold a friend in great esteem. Veneration is an almost religious attitude of deep respect, reverence, and love, such as we feel for persons or things of outstanding superiority, endeared by long association: veneration for one's grandparents, for noble traditions. 7. bias, preference. 9. revere, venerate, consider, admire. 10. heed. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples for respect
  • Do form a group with people you respect and admire for their productivity and savvy.
  • We have renewed respect for small craft breweries and home brewers.
  • But you've got to have respect for the land, to learn it.
  • It is written with great respect for these people and with an understanding that acknowledges its limits.
  • respect for elders is an integral aspect of native culture.
  • Even in refugee camps people have their pride and want to maintain their dignity, and you've got to respect that.
  • The residents have an outstanding respect for and care of visitors.
  • At that time, with respect, my friend looked up at the snow mountain.
  • His innate feel for the refuge freed me to build further intimacy and respect for the land.
  • The economics profession already has such a code, which the vast majority of economists respect and observe.
British Dictionary definitions for respect


an attitude of deference, admiration, or esteem; regard
the state of being honoured or esteemed
a detail, point, or characteristic; particular he differs in some respects from his son
reference or relation (esp in the phrases in respect of, with respect to)
polite or kind regard; consideration respect for people's feelings
(often pl) an expression of esteem or regard (esp in the phrase pay one's respects)
verb (transitive)
to have an attitude of esteem towards; show or have respect for to respect one's elders
to pay proper attention to; not violate to respect Swiss neutrality
to show consideration for; treat courteously or kindly
(archaic) to concern or refer to
Word Origin
C14: from Latin rēspicere to look back, pay attention to, from re- + specere to look
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for respect
c.1300, from L. respectus "regard," lit. "act of looking back at one," pp. of respicere "look back at, regard, consider," from re- "back" + specere "look at" (see scope (1)). The verb is 1542, from the noun. Meaning "treat with deferential regard or esteem" is from 1560; respectable "worthy of respect" is from 1586 (implied in respected).
"I have certainly known more men destroyed by the desire to have wife and child and to keep them in comfort than I have seen destroyed by drink and harlots." [William Butler Yeats, "Autobiography"]
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Idioms and Phrases with respect
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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