Try Our Apps


The Best Internet Slang


[ri-spek-tiv] /rɪˈspɛk tɪv/
pertaining individually or severally to each of a number of persons, things, etc.; particular:
I will now discuss the respective merits of the candidates.
Origin of respective
1515-25; < Medieval Latin respectīvus, equivalent to Latin respect(us) (see respect) + -īvus -ive
Related forms
respectiveness, noun
separate, individual, corresponding.
irrespective. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for respective
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • For many years he and Mr. Gladstone had been at the head of their respective parties.

    The Grand Old Man Richard B. Cook
  • The troops reached their respective camps at about 11 o'clock.

    The Story of the Malakand Field Force Sir Winston S. Churchill
  • We were all dressed in white, with the respective colours of our various classes.

    My Double Life Sarah Bernhardt
  • Moreover, his feelings were hurt by the disproportion of their respective ages.

  • Hoche, Humbert, and Pichegru, began their respective careers as private soldiers.

    Self-Help Samuel Smiles
British Dictionary definitions for respective


belonging or relating separately to each of several people or things; several: we took our respective ways home
an archaic word for respectful
Derived Forms
respectiveness, 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 respective

mid-15c., "regardful, observing or noting with attention," from Medieval Latin respectivus "having regard for," from Latin respect- past participle stem of respicere (see respect (n.)). Meaning "relating or pertaining severally each to each" is from 1640s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for respective

Most English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for respective

Scrabble Words With Friends

Nearby words for respective