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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
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Following the illustrious example of Napoleon Boltonparty, Joseph threw off all mask of deference to former leader.

  • But with women he was the most delightful mixture of deference and high spirits.

    Robert Elsmere Mrs. Humphry Ward
  • Through all the bitterest contentions which raged around him, he was uniformly treated with respect and deference.

    Gifts of Genius Various
  • They rode slowly, in deference to Don Miguel's age and that of his pony.

    Rita Laura E. Richards
  • Garson, however, was unconvinced, notwithstanding his deference to the judgment of his leader.

    Within the Law Marvin Dana
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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