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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 self-reverence
Historical Examples
  • No force in the country helps the Italian to that "self-reverence" the lack of which Mrs. Barrett Browning discerned in him.

    Rome Mildred Anna Rosalie Tuker
  • self-reverence is the antipode of self-conceit, of selfishness.

    The Soul of a People H. Fielding
  • self-reverence had dignified it, self-knowledge and self-control had turned the lines to kindly marble, defiant of time.

    When It Was Dark Guy Thorne
  • self-reverence, self-knowledge, self-control,These three alone lead life to sovereign power.

    Youth and Sex Mary Scharlieb and F. Arthur Sibly
  • Be watchful and diligent, and busy thyself in the practice of “self-knowledge, self-reverence, self-control.”

  • self-reverence, self-knowledge, self-control, the man should find in himself and display to his wife.

    'I Believe' and other essays Cyril Arthur Edward Ranger Gull
  • self-reverence, self-knowledge, self-control, These three alone lead life to sovereign power.

  • self-reverence, self-knowledge, self-control—these three alone lead life to sovereign power.

    The Girl Wanted Nixon Waterman
  • self-reverence, self-knowledge, self-control, / These three alone lead life to sovereign power.

  • Of the "self-reverence, self-knowledge, self-control" needful to make a sound race they have an encouraging share.

    The Long White Cloud William Pember Reeves
British Dictionary definitions for self-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 self-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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