[ ri-spekt-fuhl ]
See synonyms for respectful on
  1. full of, characterized by, or showing politeness or deference: a respectful reply.

Origin of respectful

First recorded in 1590–1600; respect + -ful

Other words for respectful

Opposites for respectful

Other words from respectful

  • re·spect·ful·ly, adverb
  • re·spect·ful·ness, noun
  • qua·si-re·spect·ful, adjective
  • qua·si-re·spect·ful·ly, adverb
  • un·re·spect·ful, adjective
  • un·re·spect·ful·ly, adverb
  • un·re·spect·ful·ness, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use respectful in a sentence

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

  • The servants were sad, and showed particular respectfulness in speaking of Liza; they were fond of her.

    The Possessed | Fyodor Dostoevsky
  • But Mr. Temple Barholm was very strict indeed in the matter of demanding proper respectfulness.

    T. Tembarom | Frances Hodgson Burnett
  • Our bearing toward them, however trustful or even affectionate, shows a respectfulness somewhat removed from familiarity.

    The Teacher | George Herbert Palmer
  • His courtesy, a certain respectfulness, as if he would not venture to touch the tips of her fingers, placed her more at her ease.

British Dictionary definitions for respectful


/ (rɪˈspɛktfʊl) /

  1. full of, showing, or giving respect

Derived forms of respectful

  • 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