Definition of respectfully in US English:



  • 1With deference and respect.

    ‘the butler bowed respectfully to them both’
    • ‘Anyone within earshot of a eulogy is supposed to listen respectfully.’
    • ‘We sit on pillows in front of them as they respectfully take turns to explain their plight.’
    • ‘The restrained east facade respectfully frames the triangular Place de l' Europe with its central Philharmonie.’
    • ‘I don't resent people asking questions if they do it respectfully, which most people do.’
    • ‘He carries a rule book given to him by his father that later comes in handy for Scott, who treats it respectfully.’
    • ‘They were recognized as his family and were ushered respectfully to one of the centre boxes.’
    • ‘He is respectfully received at the emperor's court despite having waged war against the state.’
    • ‘He remained respectfully, or at least considerately, quiet throughout.’
    • ‘I wish I had been more grateful for difficulties and had behaved more respectfully to others instead of alienating people.’
    • ‘It's a musical that actually breaks new ground, whilst at the same time doffing its cap respectfully to the older establishment.’
    1. 1.1 Used to express politeness to mitigate the effect of a refusal or disagreement.
      ‘I must respectfully disagree with your claim’
      ‘I respectfully declined their invitation’
      • ‘I respectfully doubt whether managing an investment banking business can accurately be described as a profession.’
      • ‘I would justifiably and respectfully argue that you should know that by now.’
      • ‘I respectfully differ from him in his assessment of the effect which this submission had on the commissioners' ultimate conclusion.’
      • ‘The exceptional circumstances are that the applicant received a trial which I respectfully submit was unfair.’
      • ‘If I could illustrate what I say, respectfully, is the error in that proposition, I would direct you to page 107 of the application book.’
      • ‘Insofar as they express a contrary view, we respectfully dissent from the views of the Supreme Court of Canada in this case.’
      • ‘We respectfully criticise the injection of the concept of the project as something that can of itself conclude the question.’
      • ‘I respectfully question the judge's view regarding the exercise of the enforcing authority's discretion.’
      • ‘We would respectfully discourage the court to take a narrower view.’
      • ‘We fully agree that such a step is highly desirable, but we respectfully cannot agree that it is open to this court.’