Definition of esteem in English:



  • [mass noun] Respect and admiration.

    ‘he was held in high esteem by colleagues’
    • ‘Public shame, in other words, is contrasted with and can only be canceled by public esteem, disgrace by honor.’
    • ‘But the alternative is to watch the political class sink further in public esteem.’
    • ‘Matthew is held in great affection and esteem by public servants across Australia as well as in Canberra for his tireless work on their behalf.’
    • ‘At a time when Westminster has never been lower in public esteem, parliament needs an honest broker who commands respect from all sides.’
    • ‘If the Government wants to know why it is so far behind in the public's esteem, I can tell its members that it is because people are sick of that approach.’
    • ‘With two sons now to his credit, the king himself stood perhaps higher in public esteem than a decade earlier.’
    • ‘Every time he rose to, or even approached, the heights of success and public esteem, he was suddenly plunged down into the depths of media excoriation.’
    • ‘Politicians, even good ones, are lower in public esteem than any profession other than journalists.’
    • ‘Consultants are next only to God in public esteem; their word is holy writ.’
    • ‘Now, judging by comments I've been hearing for months, its lending department has never stood lower in public esteem.’
    • ‘He is an honourable person respected and held in esteem by his colleagues.’
    • ‘It is not surprising that public contempt for parliament increases and that broadcasting House of Commons' debates has resulted in MPs falling even lower in public esteem.’
    • ‘At least in the short term, he says, Washington reporters enjoyed a surge in public esteem as they covered the crisis.’
    • ‘He occupied a position in public esteem in the nineteenth century at least comparable to that of Einstein in the twentieth century.’
    • ‘It highlights a problem linked to pay and conditions, hours worked and the general lack of esteem in which the public sector is now held.’
    • ‘Words cannot easily express my esteem for him.’
    • ‘The large attendances at his funeral reflected the high esteem in which he was held.’
    • ‘It would be hard to argue with her that female-dominated professions - with the possible exception of opera divas - suffer from low public esteem and poor pay.’
    • ‘He had a great personality and was held in high esteem by the public as he daily made sure the roads and footpaths were clean and tidy.’
    • ‘He has occasionally been known to give a single bottle to some well-known personage as a fitting mark of his esteem or gratitude for some important service.’
    respect, admiration, good opinion, high opinion, estimation, acclaim, approbation, approval, appreciation, favour, popularity, recognition, veneration, awe, reverence, deference, honour, praise, adulation, extolment, homage
    View synonyms


  • 1Respect and admire.

    ‘many of these qualities are esteemed by managers’
    [as adjective, with submodifier] ‘a highly esteemed scholar’
    • ‘At that point, some might even label these esteemed legal scholars lunatics.’
    • ‘He ranks with the great Persian poets, highly esteemed in Iran, a country with a rich and vital cultural history.’
    • ‘Now, one esteemed social critic, Jon Stewart, had something to say on the subject.’
    • ‘Leo was in his mid-50s and was a popular and esteemed member of the community.’
    • ‘The black smoked apricots of Hupei were famous, and apricots in general were greatly esteemed as a food, being considered good for the heart.’
    • ‘In the introduction, Fergusson begins with a striking anecdote that reveals how highly Brown was esteemed by his fellow poets.’
    • ‘He rejected privilege and chose to bear the hardships of his men, and was in turn esteemed by them.’
    • ‘Apart from a brief spell as an official with Chelsea after the last war he has remained with the Highbury club ever since and is one of its most esteemed officials.’
    • ‘John was a highly regarded and esteemed member of the local community and his passing evoked much sadness and sorrow in the district.’
    • ‘It might have been esteemed by those who knew it, but such regard does not signify popularity.’
    • ‘And what does it say about a country that esteems its entertainers more than its warriors?’
    • ‘I have heard esteemed constitutional law scholars make this argument as well.’
    • ‘News of her passing was met with genuine sorrow in her home district, where she was an esteemed and highly regarded member of the community.’
    • ‘Gemstones are minerals esteemed for their qualities of beauty, durability, and rarity.’
    • ‘Besides, he is a highly esteemed reporter who has won many prizes for his books, articles and television documentaries.’
    • ‘Chrissie is a very popular and esteemed member of the local community and her many friends look forward to seeing her back home in the near future.’
    • ‘Smith was so esteemed by his neighbors that he was elected to Congress in 1852 as an independent.’
    • ‘Some immigrants, like Henry Kissinger, are among the most productive and esteemed members of American society.’
    • ‘He elaborates: ‘We are farther than ever from inhabiting a culture that esteems genuine leisure.’’
    • ‘As part of its reverence for objectivity, journalism esteems balance.’
    respect, admire, value, regard, hold in regard, hold in high regard, think of, think highly of, acclaim, approve of, appreciate, like, prize, treasure, favour, recognize, venerate, hold in awe, look up to, revere, reverence, honour, praise, adulate, extol, pay homage to
    View synonyms
  • 2formal Consider; deem.

    [with two objects] ‘I should esteem it a favour if you could speak to them’
    • ‘Most of the greatest minds in history belonged to those who were esteemed to be mentally unstable.’
    • ‘I would esteem it a favour if you would accept these two photos.’
    • ‘We esteem it a privilege to have had her with us here.’
    consider, regard as, deem, hold to be, think, think of as, reckon, count, account, believe, judge, adjudge, rate, class as, gauge, look on as, view as, see as, interpret as
    View synonyms


Middle English (as a noun in the sense ‘worth, reputation’): from Old French estime (noun), estimer (verb), from Latin aestimare to estimate. The verb was originally in the Latin sense, also ‘appraise’(compare with estimate), used figuratively to mean ‘assess the merit of’. Current senses date from the 16th century.