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|Rank of this word in the English language, from analyzing texts from Project Gutenberg.|
- (uncountable) an attitude of consideration or high regard
- He is an intellectual giant, and I have great respect for him.
- (uncountable) good opinion, honor, or admiration
- (uncountable, Template loop detected: Template:context 1) 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.
- (attitude of consideration): deference, consideration, regard, fealty
- (good opinion): admiration, esteem, reverence, regard, recognition, veneration, honor
- (polite greetings, condolences):
- (aspect): aspect, facet, face, side, dimension
Third person singular
- to have respect for.
- She is an intellectual giant, and I respect her greatly.
- to have regard for the rights of others.
- I respect your right to hold this belief although I think it is nonsense.
- to consent to abide by an agreement.
- They failed to respect the treaty they had signed, and invaded.
It is possible that a confusion between the different meanings of respect affects the attitudes of people and organizations. For example, freedom of religion implies that we must respect 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. However, the use of the word respect seems to have shifted our attitudes towards the quite different notion that we must behave respectfully towards their beliefs, and not criticise 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.
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."
- “respect” in Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary, G. & C. Merriam, 1913.
- "respect" at The Century Dictionary, The Century Co., New York, 1911.
respect m. (plural respects)
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