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90s Slang You Should Know


[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
First recorded in 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. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for respectable
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Would a respectable man ever dare to marry Mademoiselle Ruys?

    The Nabob, Vol. 2 (of 2) Alphonse Daudet
  • Altogether a respectable, well-dressed widow, but evidently not a lady.

    The Opal Serpent Fergus Hume
  • His talents were more than respectable, his life was irreproachable, he was wealthy and yet not a spendthrift.

    Dorothy's Double G. A. Henty
  • They must have somebody to do the things they are too "respectable" to do—or too lazy.

  • In his operations he discovered a respectable share of military science, and he met with no great reverses.

    Life And Times Of Washington, Volume 2 John Frederick Schroeder
British Dictionary definitions for respectable


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 respectable

"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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