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 formsre·spect·a·ble·ness, nounre·spect·a·bly, adverbnon·re·spect·a·ble, adjectivenon·re·spect·a·ble·ness, nounnon·re·spect·a·bly, adverbpre·re·spect·a·ble, adjectivequa·si-re·spect·a·ble, adjectivequa·si-re·spect·a·bly, adverbsem·i·re·spect·a·ble, adjectivesu·per·re·spect·a·ble, adjectivesu·per·re·spect·a·ble·ness, nounsu·per·re·spect·a·bly, adverbul·tra·re·spect·a·ble, adjectiveul·tra·re·spect·a·bly, adverbul·tra·re·spect·a·ble·ness, nounun·re·spect·a·ble, adjective

Synonyms for respectable Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for respectable

Contemporary Examples of respectable

Historical Examples of respectable

  • This was a cousin of Miss Moreton's, a respectable clergyman.

  • One of these days the respectable Republic will find this out.

    American Notes

    Rudyard Kipling

  • This inn was kept by two respectable ladies, who were sisters.

    Welsh Fairy Tales

    William Elliott Griffis

  • She knew that in that quarter everyone is not respectable, but everyone is kind.

  • She smoked cigarettes, and he could not think that this would have been respectable in any other woman.

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, etca respectable woman
relatively or fairly good; considerablea respectable salary
fit to be seen by other people; presentable
Derived Formsrespectability or rare respectableness, nounrespectably, 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

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