[ ri-spek-tiv ]
/ rɪˈspɛk tɪv /


pertaining individually or severally to each of a number of persons, things, etc.; particular: I will now discuss the respective merits of the candidates.

Nearby words

  1. respected,
  2. respecter,
  3. respectful,
  4. respectfully,
  5. respecting,
  6. respectively,
  7. respects,
  8. respell,
  9. respighi,
  10. respighi, ottorino

Origin of respective

1515–25; < Medieval Latin respectīvus, equivalent to Latin respect(us) (see respect) + -īvus -ive

Related formsre·spec·tive·ness, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for respective

British Dictionary definitions for respective


/ (rɪˈspɛktɪv) /


belonging or relating separately to each of several people or things; severalwe took our respective ways home
an archaic word for respectful
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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper