full of, characterized by, or showing politeness or deference: a respectful reply.

Origin of respectful

First recorded in 1590–1600; respect + -ful
Related formsre·spect·ful·ly, adverbre·spect·ful·ness, nounqua·si-re·spect·ful, adjectivequa·si-re·spect·ful·ly, adverbun·re·spect·ful, adjectiveun·re·spect·ful·ly, adverbun·re·spect·ful·ness, noun

Synonyms for respectful

Antonyms for respectful Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for respectfully

Contemporary Examples of respectfully

Historical Examples of respectfully

  • Martin looked at her respectfully but with profound curiosity.


    Mr. and Mrs. Haldeman-Julius

  • Kindly tell him that I respectfully desired to be reminded to him.

  • "A young person wishes to see you, sir," he said, respectfully.

    Henry Dunbar

    M. E. Braddon

  • "Yes, sir," he said, so respectfully that it gave me an odd feeling.

    Ruggles of Red Gap

    Harry Leon Wilson

  • He betrayed no surprise, but greeted them respectfully and then passed them on.

    The Christian

    Hall Caine

British Dictionary definitions for respectfully



full of, showing, or giving respect
Derived Formsrespectfully, adverbrespectfulness, 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

Word Origin and History for respectfully



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