How do the native speakers usually point to a respectful individual? For me, only three self-made sentences comes to mind; I was wondering if someone could let me know which one of them works better here:

  • He is deserving of respect.

  • He is respectworthy.

  • He is a respect-worthy individual.

On Google Ngram, I googled the following three expressions deserving of respect, is respectworthy and is respect-worthy

Ngram chart

and found out that the adjective "respect-worthy" is not used in the way I have used them. How I made these two latter ones? Once I read them in a dictionary and wrote them down in a paper.

All these matters aside, I need to know if the adjective I mentioned above is used in contemporary English these days or it is something that only dictionaries recommend it. Also, some other dictionaries have no idea about this word or at least they did not provide any examples like here or here.

  • Have you checked either of these options by Googling them? Have you looked up respect or respect-worthy and seen the dictionary examples of usage?
    – Mari-Lou A
    Dec 24, 2016 at 6:02
  • @Mari-LouA Yes I have. I'll do it right now and will show you that I googled it prior to ask my question. Thank you for letting me know how to alter my question. :)
    – A-friend
    Dec 24, 2016 at 6:08
  • You found "He is a respect-worthy individual" with quotes on Google?
    – Mari-Lou A
    Dec 24, 2016 at 6:09
  • 1
    Retracted downvote because you have shown effort.
    – Mari-Lou A
    Dec 24, 2016 at 6:21
  • 1
    No, I didn't upvote it, I retracted (reversed) my downvote.
    – Mari-Lou A
    Dec 24, 2016 at 6:25

2 Answers 2


There are many synonyms for "respect": esteem, admire, honor, revere, venerate, hold in high regard, think highly of, defer to, endorse, and many others. So you have a number of options.

Specifically using "respect", these would be examples of the more common expressions:

I respect him.

I have a lot of respect for him.

He is well/widely respected

He commands respect (wherever he goes).

Saying someone "deserves respect" often implies that the person isn't currently getting a lot of respect. For example, someone might say:

As the president-elect, Donald Trump deserves your respect.

Which implies that you currently don't respect him as that person thinks you should. So it's actually kind of the opposite of saying someone is "widely respected".

"Respect-worthy" is not natural English. You might think the adjective "respectable" would fit, but actually it doesn't really mean "someone who is respected" but rather just "someone of good social standing" or simply "of a reasonably high level", "well above average", or "decent".

He is a respectable person (he has a decent reputation).

He has a respectable income (a fairly good but not awe-inspiring income).

Of course there are many other ways to say someone is respected (or worthy of respect). This is not a comprehensive list, but I would start with the four patterns I provided.

  • I strongly believe in teaching a person to fish, and not giving him a sumptuous meal once in a blue moon. The OP is asking about the three "self-made" sentences. Are they all idiomatic? Are they all grammatical? The OP asks: I was wondering if someone could let me know which one of them works better here:
    – Mari-Lou A
    Dec 24, 2016 at 6:17
  • 1
    @Mari-LouA edited for clarity, but nevertheless with regard to using "respect" there are only a few natural phrases that mean what OP wants to say. It may be easier to use a synonym that depends less on context.
    – Andrew
    Dec 24, 2016 at 6:26
  • @Mari-LouA the way Andrew offered the synonymous sentences was exactly what I needed here. It made me even think of some other questions. Thank you one and all for spending your times here to help some learners like me and the further questioners.
    – A-friend
    Dec 24, 2016 at 6:34
  • @Andrew you cited: "Saying someone deserves respect often implies that the person isn't currently getting a lot of respect", but please consider that I had mentioned: deserving of respect Or respect-worthy. For me, both indicate the message that the person in my question may not respected at all, but in the speakers opinion he / she "deserves" to get respect. Also, worthy of respect as it implicates to me literally, means "someone who it deserves to respect him / her". Can I make myself understood? Is it clearer now? Hence, I guess my first example is the most appropriate. Do you confirm it?
    – A-friend
    Dec 24, 2016 at 6:41
  • 1
    @A-friend I get it. I thought you were trying to talk about someone who already has respect. Saying "deserving of respect", "deserves respect", or, "worthy of respect" are all fine, and all mean "ought to be (more) respected than they are".
    – Andrew
    Dec 24, 2016 at 6:46

For someone who should be shown respect, you could say

He is deserving of respect.
He should be respected.
He has not been shown the respect he deserves.
He is worthy of respect.

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