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[ri-spek-tuh-buh l] /rɪˈspɛk tə bəl/
worthy of respect or esteem; estimable; worthy:
a respectable citizen.
of good social standing, reputation, etc.:
a respectable neighborhood.
suitable or good enough to be seen or used:
respectable clothes; respectable language.
of moderate excellence; fairly good; fair:
a respectable performance.
appreciable in size, number, or amount:
a respectable turnout.
Origin of respectable
1580-90; respect + -able
Related forms
respectableness, noun
respectably, adverb
nonrespectable, adjective
nonrespectableness, noun
nonrespectably, adverb
prerespectable, adjective
quasi-respectable, adjective
quasi-respectably, adverb
semirespectable, adjective
superrespectable, adjective
superrespectableness, noun
superrespectably, adverb
ultrarespectable, adjective
ultrarespectably, adverb
ultrarespectableness, noun
unrespectable, adjective
1. honorable. 4. middling, passable. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for respectably
Historical Examples
  • There were seven children; and they were all educated most respectably.

    The Bertrams Anthony Trollope
  • It was respectably attended in point of character as well as of numbers.

  • Lyddy did not much care for his appearance; but he was respectably–if strikingly–dressed, and he was perfectly respectful.

    The Girls of Hillcrest Farm Amy Bell Marlowe
  • But what had maintained me respectably was now found inadequate to the support of us both.

    An Outcast F. Colburn Adams
  • There was nothing offensive nor flirtatious in his manner, and he seemed far too respectably dressed to be a beggar.

    The Apartment Next Door William Andrew Johnston
  • It was well paved, and its houses were respectably inhabited.

    Haunted London Walter Thornbury
  • His desire was, having secured the foundation of a fortune, to live cleanly and respectably for the future.

    Rogues and Vagabonds George R. Sims
  • The house is respectably, though not very elegantly, furnished.

  • I wish to obtain honourably and respectably the means of visiting China, or particular parts of Africa.

    Letters of George Borrow George Borrow
  • He had bought a hat on the way down, too, a gray felt, respectably stylish.

    Command William McFee
British Dictionary definitions for respectably


having or deserving the respect of other people; estimable; worthy
having good social standing or reputation
having socially or conventionally acceptable morals, standards, etc: a respectable woman
relatively or fairly good; considerable: a respectable salary
fit to be seen by other people; presentable
Derived Forms
respectability, (rare) respectableness, noun
respectably, adverb
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 respectably



"worthy of esteem," 1580s; see respect (v.) + -able. Sense of "having an honest reputation" is from 1755. That of "occupying a fairly good position in society" is c.1800. Related: Respectably.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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