What are the synonyms for "due" in the following sentence?


with (all) due respect: (spoken) used when you disagree with someone or criticize them in a polite way:

Dad, with all due respect, was not a very good husband.

2 Answers 2


"Due" means "appropriate" or "owed".

The literal meaning is "showing all respect that is owed [to you or whoever it is that I'm about to disagree with]"

  • 2
    The figurative meaning is, "I'm calling out how I have already taken into account any respect your are due when making the following (probably disrespectful) negative statement." Commented Dec 22, 2018 at 23:30
  • @Ben Jackson The figurative meaning is "no respect whatsoever" :D
    – HingeSight
    Commented Dec 23, 2018 at 10:06

If you look the adjective due up in a dictionary, the following definition will be listed as one of its numerous meanings:

of the proper quality or extent

That's exactly what it means in the context of that phrase. Thus, you could interpret the expression with all due respect as meaning with all proper respect where proper respect means respect that is proper, necessary or appropriate for this situation or occasion.

And here's the sentence in question:

Dad, with all due respect, was not a very good husband.

This says that even though parents sometimes can be bad parents, we still should talk of them with the proper and necessary (or "owed" as Colin Fine aptly mentioned in his answer) respect that they deserve because after all they are the ones who gave us life and it was them who raised us.

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