• synonyms


See more synonyms for respective on Thesaurus.com
  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.
Show More

Origin of respective

1515–25; < Medieval Latin respectīvus, equivalent to Latin respect(us) (see respect) + -īvus -ive
Related formsre·spec·tive·ness, noun

Synonyms for respective

See more synonyms for on Thesaurus.com

Antonyms for respective

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for respective

various, corresponding, each, individual, own, personal, relevant, separate, several, singular

Examples from the Web for respective

Contemporary Examples of respective

Historical Examples of respective

  • For many years he and Mr. Gladstone had been at the head of their respective parties.

    The Grand Old Man

    Richard B. Cook

  • The troops reached their respective camps at about 11 o'clock.

  • We were all dressed in white, with the respective colours of our various classes.

    My Double Life

    Sarah Bernhardt

  • Moreover, his feelings were hurt by the disproportion of their respective ages.

  • Hoche, Humbert, and Pichegru, began their respective careers as private soldiers.


    Samuel Smiles

British Dictionary definitions for respective


  1. belonging or relating separately to each of several people or things; severalwe took our respective ways home
  2. an archaic word for respectful
Show More
Derived Formsrespectiveness, 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 respective


mid-15c., "regardful, observing or noting with attention," from Medieval Latin respectivus "having regard for," from Latin respect- past participle stem of respicere (see respect (n.)). Meaning "relating or pertaining severally each to each" is from 1640s.

Show More
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper