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respect (n.)

late 14c., "relationship, relation; regard, consideration," from Old French respect and directly from Latin respectus "regard, a looking at," literally "act of looking back (or often) at one," noun use of past participle of respicere "look back at, regard, consider," from re- "back" (see re-) + specere "look at" (from PIE root *spek- "to observe"). Meanings "feeling of esteem excited by actions or attributes of someone or something; courteous or considerate treatment due to personal worth or power" are from 1580s, as is sense of "point, particular feature."

Origin and meaning of respect

respect (v.)

1540s, "to regard, notice with especial attention," from French respecter "look back; respect; delay," from Latin respectere, frequentative of respicere "look back at, regard, consider," from re- "back" (see re-) + specere "look at" (from PIE root *spek- "to observe").

Meaning "treat with deferential regard or esteem, regard with some degree of reverence" is from 1550s. Sense of "refrain from injuring or interfering with" is from 1620s. Meaning "have reference to, relate to" is from 1560s. Related: Respected; respecting.

To respect the person was "show undue bias toward (or against) based on regard for the outward circumstances of a person;" hence respecter of persons, usually with negative, from Acts x:34, in the 1611 translation.

Origin and meaning of respect

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Definitions of respect from WordNet
1
respect (n.)
(usually preceded by `in') a detail or point;
it differs in that respect
Synonyms: regard
respect (n.)
the condition of being honored (esteemed or respected or well regarded);
Synonyms: esteem / regard
respect (n.)
an attitude of admiration or esteem;
she lost all respect for him
Synonyms: esteem / regard
respect (n.)
a courteous expression (by word or deed) of esteem or regard;
be sure to give my respects to the dean
Synonyms: deference
respect (n.)
behavior intended to please your parents;
he went to law school out of respect for his father's wishes
Synonyms: obedience
respect (n.)
a feeling of friendship and esteem;
he inspires respect
Synonyms: regard
respect (n.)
courteous regard for people's feelings;
out of respect for his privacy
Synonyms: deference / respectfulness
2
respect (v.)
regard highly; think much of;
I respect his judgement
Synonyms: esteem / value / prize / prise
respect (v.)
show respect towards;
Synonyms: honor / honour / abide by / observe
From wordnet.princeton.edu