(countable and uncountable, plural respects)
- (uncountable) an attitude of consideration or high regard
- He is an intellectual giant, and I have great respect for him.
- Syngman Rhee kept imprisoned the Dowager Queen Yun Empress Sunjeong of the Korean Empire for fear of the respect the people held for her.
- (uncountable) good opinion, honor, or admiration
- (uncountable, always plural) Polite greetings, often offered as condolences after a death.
- The mourners paid their last respects to the deceased poet.
- (countable) a particular aspect of something
- This year's model is superior to last year's in several respects.
(third-person singular simple present respects, present participle respecting, simple past and past participle respected)
- to have respect for.
- She is an intellectual giant, and I respect her greatly.
- to have regard for something, to observe a custom, practice, rule or right
- I respect your right to hold that belief, although I think it is nonsense.
- to abide by an agreement.
- They failed to respect the treaty they had signed, and invaded.
- To take notice of; to regard as worthy of special consideration; to heed.
- (dated except in "respecting") To relate to; to be concerned with.
It is possible that a confusion between the different meanings of respect affects the attitudes of people and organizations. For example:
- The freedom of religion implies that we must respect protect the right of anyone to believe whatever they wish, to act within the law in accordance with their beliefs, and not to be discriminated against on account of their beliefs.
- Changes in the use of the word respect seems to have shifted our attitudes towards the quite different notion that we must behave respectfully politely towards their beliefs, and not criticize them.
- This is a restriction on freedom of speech, and is inherently hypocritical"”anyone with any view on religion must necessarily believe that those who believe differently are deluded, although their rights must be respected observed.
The distinction between the two meanings can be shown by paraphrasing Voltaire: "I totally disrespect what you say, but absolutely respect your right to say it."
- (Jamaica) hello, hi
From Middle English respect, from Old French respect, also respit ("respect, regard, consideration"; > respite), from Latin respectus (“a looking at, regard, respect"), perfect passive participle of respiciÅ (“look at, look back upon, respect"), from re- (“back") + speciÅ (“look at").