Before you begin please connect your laptop's power adapter and an Ethernet cable to their respective outlets.
I found this sentence on Northwestern University's website. Every time I find this type of usage of "respective", I am confused why "respective" is used and think "corresponding" is more suitable. That is, Longman dictionary defines "respective" as follows:
used before a plural noun to refer to the different things that belong to each separate person or thing mentioned
- We all went back to our respective homes.
- the respective roles of teachers and students
So, I think "respective" is used to describe the relationship "of" not "for". In my example, the outlets for the adapter and the cable, not the outlets of the adapter and the cable.
Is my understanding correct?