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[ri-spek-ting] /rɪˈspɛk tɪŋ/
regarding; concerning.
Origin of respecting
1725-35; respect + -ing2


[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. 2015.
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Examples from the web for respecting
  • respecting one's right to believe whatever they choose is not the same as respecting the content of their beliefs.
  • What happens there shouldn't, and probably couldn't, happen to any self-respecting espionage agent.
  • Around the world, no self-respecting politician lacks a plan to turn his city into a capital of finance.
  • It's not part of bickering between political rivals, it's a matter of respecting the law of the country.
  • For a while no self-respecting report or theory was complete without one.
  • Heading the entire civil service means respecting its myriad vested interests in the status quo.
  • No self-respecting politician will enter the fray while the army runs the show.
  • These days no self-respecting think-tank, it seems, can be without a report on nuclear disarmament.
  • Self-respecting couples were marginalised, and the real value of wages was cut in half.
  • Food production will always be of paramount importance to any self-respecting nation.
British Dictionary definitions for respecting


concerning; regarding


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
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Word Origin and History for respecting



late 14c., "relationship, relation; regard, consideration," from Old French respect and directly from Latin respectus "regard, a looking at," literally "act of looking back (or often) at one," noun use of past participle of respicere "look back at, regard, consider," from re- "back" (see re-) + specere "look at" (see scope (n.1)). Meanings "feeling of esteem excited by actions or attributes of someone or something; courteous or considerate treatment due to personal worth or power" are from 1580s, as is sense of "point, particular feature."


1540s, "to regard," from Middle French respecter "look back; respect; delay," from Latin respectere, frequentative of respicere (see respect (n.). Meaning "treat with deferential regard or esteem" is from 1550s. Sense of "refrain from injuring" is from 1620s. Meaning "have reference to" is from 1560s. Related: Respected; respecting.

To respect the person was "show undue bias toward (or against) based on regard for the outward circumstances of a person;" hence respecter of persons, usually with negative, from Acts x:34, in the 1611 translation.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Idioms and Phrases with respecting
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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