Definition of RESPECTFUL


Respectful is an adjective that describes behavior, attitude, or speech characterized by showing esteem, consideration, or deference towards others. It denotes the expression of admiration, regard, or courtesy, reflecting a recognition of others’ rights, dignity, or value.

Showing Esteem or Admiration: In its primary sense, respectful pertains to behavior or actions that demonstrate esteem, admiration, or appreciation for others’ qualities, achievements, or contributions. It involves treating individuals with dignity, recognizing their worth, and acknowledging their positive attributes or accomplishments.

Considerate and Courteous: Respectful behavior entails being considerate and courteous towards others, taking their feelings, opinions, and perspectives into account. It involves showing empathy, kindness, and politeness in interactions, ensuring that one’s actions or words do not cause offense, harm, or discomfort.

Observing Social Norms: Respectful conduct also involves adhering to social norms, customs, or protocols governing interactions and relationships within a community or society. It includes following etiquette, showing deference to authority figures, and observing cultural practices that promote harmony, cooperation, and mutual respect.

Acknowledging Rights and Boundaries: Respectful behavior entails recognizing and respecting the rights, boundaries, and autonomy of others. It involves refraining from infringing upon individuals’ freedoms, privacy, or personal space, and seeking their consent or permission before taking actions that may affect them.

Valuing Diversity and Differences: Respectful attitudes embrace diversity and inclusivity, valuing individuals’ differences in culture, background, beliefs, and perspectives. It involves fostering an environment of acceptance, tolerance, and understanding, where all individuals feel valued, respected, and empowered to express themselves authentically.

Respectful behavior and attitudes embody the principles of esteem, consideration, and deference towards others, reflecting admiration, courtesy, and recognition of their rights, dignity, and value. Whether showing esteem, being considerate, observing social norms, acknowledging boundaries, or valuing diversity, being respectful fosters positive relationships, promotes harmony, and contributes to a culture of mutual respect and dignity.

Examples of RESPECTFUL in a sentence

  • He always speaks to his elders in a respectful manner.
  • It’s important to be respectful of other people’s opinions, even if you disagree with them.
  • The students showed a respectful attitude towards their teacher during the presentation.
  • She received a respectful nod from her colleagues for her hard work.
  • The politician addressed the crowd in a calm and respectful tone.
  • The company has a policy of fostering a respectful workplace environment.
  • The audience listened attentively and gave a respectful applause at the end of the performance.
  • He bowed his head in a respectful gesture as a sign of reverence.


The term respectful embarks on a linguistic journey, tracing its origins through centuries of social, cultural, and ethical development. Rooted in Middle English and Latin influences, it has evolved into an adjective that signifies showing esteem, regard, or deference towards others.

  • Middle English Roots: The word respectful originated from the Middle English noun “respect,” which meant “esteem” or “regard.” This noun was derived from the Old French “respect” and ultimately from the Latin “respectus,” which means “a looking back” or “consideration.”
  • Latin Influence: The Latin term “respectus,” formed from the verb “respicere” (meaning “to look back” or “to consider”), contributed to the development of the concept of respect or consideration for others’ opinions, feelings, or rights.
  • Social Etiquette: In its earliest usage, respectful described behavior or demeanor characterized by politeness, deference, or courtesy towards others, especially those of higher status, authority, or age. It implied acknowledging and honoring their worth or dignity.
  • Ethical and Moral Values: Across various cultures and societies, being respectful is often associated with ethical and moral values such as empathy, kindness, and tolerance. It entails treating others with dignity, fairness, and compassion, regardless of differences in status, background, or beliefs.
  • Interpersonal Relationships: In personal and professional relationships, respectful communication and behavior are essential for fostering trust, cooperation, and mutual understanding. It involves listening attentively, valuing diverse perspectives, and refraining from belittling or demeaning others.

Respectful stands as a term that reflects humanity’s aspirations for harmonious and empathetic interactions. From its Middle English and Latin roots to its modern-day applications in social etiquette, ethics, and interpersonal relationships, the word embodies the fundamental importance of honoring the worth and dignity of every individual.


  • Polite
  • Courteous
  • Considerate
  • Reverent
  • Gracious
  • Civil
  • Admiring
  • Esteemful


  • Disrespectful
  • Rude
  • Impolite
  • Insolent
  • Inconsiderate
  • Discourteous
  • Insulting
  • Disregardful


  • Respect
  • Admiration
  • Honor
  • Courtesy
  • Reverence
  • Civility
  • Esteem
  • Regard

🌐 🇬🇧 RESPECTFUL in other languages

Terms of Use

Privacy & Cookies


Who We Are

Main Sections


Geographical Locations



Let´s Talk



® 2024