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 respectably

Historical Examples of respectably

  • I've two sisters, respectably married and living in another part of the state.

    The Straw

    Eugene O'Neill

  • But what had maintained me respectably was now found inadequate to the support of us both.

    An Outcast

    F. Colburn Adams

  • I was dressed and lived as a gentleman, or rather I should say respectably.

  • It was respectably attended in point of character as well as of numbers.

  • There were seven children; and they were all educated most respectably.

    The Bertrams

    Anthony Trollope

British Dictionary definitions for respectably



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 respectably



"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