Try Our Apps


The Best Internet Slang


[ri-spekt-fuh l] /rɪˈspɛkt fəl/
full of, characterized by, or showing politeness or deference:
a respectful reply.
Origin of respectful
First recorded in 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. 2017.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for respectfulness
Historical Examples
  • What an air of decency and respectfulness about the servants!

    Olla Podrida Frederick Marryat (AKA Captain Marryat)
  • If it does not pay, it brings him fame, respectfulness in times of reverse.

  • Then she observed that he was following her attentively, with his respectfulness.

  • His conduct after this to us was marked with every indication of respectfulness and attachment.

    Gleanings by the Way John A. Clark
  • She has commended the softness and respectfulness of my behaviour.

    History of English Humour, Vol. 1 (of 2)

    Alfred Guy Kingan L'Estrange
  • Nikolay Vsyevolodovitch's respectfulness to his mother was enlarged upon.

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

  • Nor did I seek to know the reason for this excess of respectfulness; I was beginning to take to it naturally.

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
Cite This Source
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
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for respectful

Many English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for respectfulness

Scrabble Words With Friends

Nearby words for respectfulness