- pertaining individually or severally to each of a number of persons, things, etc.; particular: I will now discuss the respective merits of the candidates.
- belonging or relating separately to each of several people or things; severalwe took our respective ways home
- an archaic word for respectful
mid-15c., “regardful, observing or noting with attention,” from Medieval Latin respectivus “having regard for,” from Latin respect- past participle stem of respicere (see respect (n.)). Meaning “relating or pertaining severally each to each” is from 1640s.