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[def-er-uh ns] /ˈdɛf ər əns/
respectful submission or yielding to the judgment, opinion, will, etc., of another.
respectful or courteous regard:
in deference to his wishes.
Origin of deference
1640-50; < French déférence, Middle French, equivalent to defer(er) to defer2 + -ence -ence
Related forms
nondeference, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for deference
  • He responded with courtly deference, giving them his full attention.
  • deference and obedience to one's elders are of the utmost importance, as are ideas of hospitality and social ties.
  • His record on the bench is one of cautious rulings and scrupulous deference to precedent.
  • The traditional family crumbled, along with old-fashioned notions of deference.
  • He has failed to provide evidence to support his contention that he is a scientist deserving any deference due to authority.
  • But now, in deference to what is seen as a new growth market, the front of the store is devoted to cell phones.
  • Your deference is wholly appropriate.
  • My grandmother urged my parents to force me to favor my right hand, in deference to nature's clear (to her) intention.
  • Individualism and creativity are frowned upon in a culture that prizes the art of imitation and the politics of deference.
  • Also, I have given up salt and coffee in deference to high blood pressure and alcohol in deference to methotrexate.
British Dictionary definitions for deference


submission to or compliance with the will, wishes, etc, of another
courteous regard; respect
Word Origin
C17: from French déférence; see defer²
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for deference

1640s, from French déférence (16c.), from déférer (see defer (v.2)).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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