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 ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.