pay one's last respects

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pay one's last respects (third-person singular simple present pays one's last respects, present participle paying one's last respects, simple past and past participle paid one's last respects)

  1. (intransitive) To visit the place where the remains of a dead person has been prepared for burial or cremation, either as a private act of remembrance or as a public display to others.
    • 1822 The Christian Journal, and Literary Register
      Mr. Thompson performed the service, and I preached a sermon to a crowded congregation of friends and mourners, who came together to pay their last respects to the remains of their friend and benefactor
    • 1827 John Robinson - Archæologia Græca
      The persons that attended funerals were the friends and relations of the deceased, who thought themselves obliged to pay their last respects to the dead.
    • 1851 Charles Dickens - Household Words
      And now to-day you've done your duty by her; paid your last respects to her memory, as I may say, and so you have nothing to reproach yourself with.