[ ri-spek-tiv ]
See synonyms for respective on
  1. 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

First recorded in 1515–25; from Medieval Latin respectīvus, equivalent to Latin respect(us) (see respect) + -īvus -ive

Other words for respective

Opposites for respective

Other words from respective

  • re·spec·tive·ness, noun

Words Nearby respective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use respective in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for respective


/ (rɪˈspɛktɪv) /

  1. belonging or relating separately to each of several people or things; several: we took our respective ways home

  2. an archaic word for respectful

Derived forms of respective

  • 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