Definition of respectability in English:



  • 1[mass noun] The quality of being socially acceptable.

    ‘provincial notions of respectability’
    • ‘It describes the way the lower castes tend to imitate the customs and rituals of the upper layers in order to gain social respectability.’
    • ‘But the gravitational pull of bourgeois respectability remained strong.’
    • ‘He had brought nobility and respectability to the British stage.’
    • ‘Has the notion of solidarity escaped him in his flight for respectability?’
    • ‘They've got that credibility and that respectability back.’
    • ‘The Sixties completely wiped away the notion that virginity was essential to respectability and decency.’
    • ‘What they seemed to entirely be missing in their analysis is the notion of respectability.’
    • ‘For a long time, the capital of Victoria seemed to be the seat of provincial respectability.’
    • ‘Teaching offered both social respectability and an opportunity to earn a living.’
    • ‘The social respectability of science attracted the patronage of wealthy and influential figures.’
    • ‘In the course of her conversation on the day of the workshop, she often referred to the terms dignity and respectability.’
    • ‘If marriage confers social status and respectability, adultery confers a stigma.’
    • ‘In our family, integrity is there, respectability also.’
    • ‘It's a very worrying development and it's gaining social respectability.’
    • ‘Modern dress also looks anachronistic in a world where respectability is a prime virtue and cuckoldry a social stigma.’
    • ‘The old respectability of the establishment could no longer cover up the major moral lapses of the financial sector.’
    • ‘They spend their fortune trying to gain social respectability.’
    • ‘The acquisition of land not only gave social respectability but also wealth.’
    • ‘They were well aware that, in order to retain social respectability, their sexual behaviour had to be beyond reproach.’
    • ‘Wealth is a marker for social status, success, and respectability, just as poverty is stigmatising.’
    stateliness, nobleness, nobility, majesty, regalness, regality, royalness, courtliness, augustness, loftiness, exaltedness, lordliness, impressiveness, grandeur, magnificence
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    1. 1.1The quality of being accepted as valid or important within a particular field.
      ‘scientific respectability’
      • ‘They desperately crave scientific respectability, but it is their own theory that prevents them from attaining it.’
      • ‘Now many astrologers seem to have a hankering, a hunger even, for scientific respectability that never fails to amaze me.’
      • ‘In this way, perhaps, he seeks to cloak his book in an aura of scientific respectability.’
      • ‘His take on the respectability of SETI in the scientific community is unduly pessimistic.’
      • ‘This is how it achieves respectability, legitimacy and, very often, public funding.’