1. A feeling of appreciative, often deferential regard; esteem: I have great respect for your work. See Synonyms at regard.
2. The state of being regarded with honor or esteem: a leader held in the greatest respect.
a. Consideration or appreciation: Can't you at least give me some respect?
b. Due regard for something considered important or authoritative: respect for the law.
4. A particular aspect, feature, or detail: In many respects this is an important decision.
5. Usage Problem Relation; reference. See Usage Note at regard.
tr.v. re·spect·ed, re·spect·ing, re·spectsIdioms:
1. To feel or show deferential regard for; esteem or admire: All the other scholars respect her.
a. To avoid interfering with or intruding upon: Please respect my privacy.
b. To avoid violating: I respected the speed limit throughout the trip.
3. To relate or refer to; concern: As respects the rights of land owners, this law says nothing.
in respect of Chiefly British
With respect to.
pay (one's) respects
1. To express polite respect, as by paying a visit or addressing one's host: "He paid his respects to the newly-weds, clapping the groom on the shoulder and saying something that made him laugh" (Clare Clark).
2. To express mournful respect for the dead, as by attending a wake or delivering a eulogy: "Six Capuchin monks, sitting by the coffin, took turns reciting the prayers for the dead as dignitaries filed by to pay their respects" (David I. Kertzer).
with/in respect to
In reference or relation to; concerning: "The Supreme Court ... permits greater restriction of commercial speech under current case law than it does with respect to other types of speech" (Samuel A. Alito, Jr.).
[From Middle English, regard, from Old French, from Latin respectus, action of looking back at, regard, from past participle of respicere, to look back at, regard : re-, re- + specere, to look at; see spek- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2018 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
The American Heritage Dictionary Blog
Check out our blog, updated regularly, for new words and revised definitions, interesting images from the 5th edition, discussions of usage, and more.