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[ri-spekt-fuh l] /rɪˈspɛkt fəl/
full of, characterized by, or showing politeness or deference:
a respectful reply.
Origin of respectful
1590-1600; respect + -ful
Related forms
respectfully, adverb
respectfulness, noun
quasi-respectful, adjective
quasi-respectfully, adverb
unrespectful, adjective
unrespectfully, adverb
unrespectfulness, noun
courteous, polite, decorous, civil, deferential.
discourteous, disrespectful. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for respectfulness
Historical Examples
  • Theologians, more inveterate in speech than politicians, now observe a respectfulness to opponents before unknown.

    The Principles Of Secularism George Jacob Holyoake
  • What an air of decency and respectfulness about the servants!

    Olla Podrida Frederick Marryat (AKA Captain Marryat)
  • Then she observed that he was following her attentively, with his respectfulness.

  • If it does not pay, it brings him fame, respectfulness in times of reverse.

  • He was the born nobleman in his friendliness with the bridal pair and respectfulness to Mr. Woodseer.

  • She has commended the softness and respectfulness of my behaviour.

    History of English Humour, Vol. 1 (of 2) Alfred Guy Kingan L'Estrange
  • The rigidity of her position was the more striking owing to the respectfulness and the affection with which it was accompanied.

    Queen Victoria Lytton Strachey
  • Nikolay Vsyevolodovitch's respectfulness to his mother was enlarged upon.

    The Possessed Fyodor Dostoevsky
  • Our bearing toward them, however trustful or even affectionate, shows a respectfulness somewhat removed from familiarity.

    The Teacher George Herbert Palmer
  • You will have no fault to find with her respectfulness towards you and Herrania or with her behavior as a wife.

    The Unwilling Vestal Edward Lucas White
British Dictionary definitions for respectfulness


full of, showing, or giving respect
Derived Forms
respectfully, adverb
respectfulness, noun
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 respectfulness



1580s, "characterized by respect" (implied in respectfully), from respect (n.) + -ful. Meaning "full of outward civility" attested from 1680s. Related: Respectfulness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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