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[rev-er-uh ns, rev-ruh ns] /ˈrɛv ər əns, ˈrɛv rəns/
a feeling or attitude of deep respect tinged with awe; veneration.
the outward manifestation of this feeling:
to pay reverence.
a gesture indicative of deep respect; an obeisance, bow, or curtsy.
the state of being revered or treated with respect tinged with awe.
(initial capital letter) a title used in addressing or mentioning a member of the clergy (usually preceded by your or his).
verb (used with object), reverenced, reverencing.
to regard or treat with reverence; venerate:
One should reverence God and His laws.
Origin of reverence
1250-1300; Middle English < Latin reverentia respect, fear, awe. See revere1, -ence
Related forms
reverencer, noun
nonreverence, noun
self-reverence, noun
unreverenced, adjective
1. honor, esteem. 6. revere, honor, adore.
1. contempt. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for reverence
  • Far too many literary adaptations wear the fancy dress of high culture prestige or bind themselves into corsets of reverence.
  • There was no way, it seemed, that he could dim expectations or escape public reverence.
  • Though pigskin may not be kosher, reverence is certainly called for.
  • We treat data in the shortterm with reverence and in the longterm with skepticism.
  • Everyone to me should be treated with the same respect and reverence.
  • But some of us take this numinous reverence and express it through our metaphorical and poetic religious traditions.
  • But though he often vilified sharks, sometimes he wrote of them with reverence.
  • The nymphs bent low in homage, and all the bystanders paid reverence.
  • She made a deep reverence before them, a slighter but no less gracious one to the company, and withdrew.
  • Had he done so, one can only imagine the extent to which his extravagant reverence would have been drawn.
British Dictionary definitions for reverence


a feeling or attitude of profound respect, usually reserved for the sacred or divine; devoted veneration
an outward manifestation of this feeling, esp a bow or act of obeisance
the state of being revered or commanding profound respect
(archaic) saving your reverence, a form of apology for using an obscene or taboo expression
(transitive) to revere or venerate
Derived Forms
reverencer, noun


(preceded by Your or His) a title sometimes used to address or refer to a Roman Catholic priest
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 reverence

late 13c., from Old French reverence "respect, awe," from Latin reverentia "awe, respect," from revereri "to stand in awe of, respect, honor, fear, be afraid of; revere," from re-, intensive prefix (see re-), + vereri "stand in awe of, fear," from PIE *wer- "to be or become aware of, perceive, watch out for" (cf. Old English wær "aware, cautious;" see wary).


late 14c., "treat with respect, honor; venerate, pay pious homage to; esteem, value; bow to (someone); do honor to," from reverence (n.). Related: Reverenced; reverencing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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