Definition of Deference

1. Noun. A courteous expression (by word or deed) of esteem or regard. "Be sure to give my respects to the dean"

Exact synonyms: Respect
Generic synonyms: Civility, Politeness
Specialized synonyms: Court, Homage, Last Respects, Props
Derivative terms: Deferent, Deferential, Respect, Respect

2. Noun. Courteous regard for people's feelings. "Out of respect for his privacy"
Exact synonyms: Respect, Respectfulness
Generic synonyms: Courtesy, Good Manners
Derivative terms: Defer, Deferent, Deferential, Respect, Respectful, Respectful

3. Noun. A disposition or tendency to yield to the will of others.

Definition of Deference

1. n. A yielding of judgment or preference from respect to the wishes or opinion of another; submission in opinion; regard; respect; complaisance.

Definition of Deference

1. Noun. Great respect. ¹

2. Noun. The willingness to carry out the wishes of others. ¹

¹ Source:

Definition of Deference

1. [n -S]

Medical Definition of Deference

1. A yielding of judgment or preference from respect to the wishes or opinion of another; submission in opinion; regard; respect; complaisance. "Deference to the authority of thoughtful and sagacious men." (Whewell) "Deference is the most complicate, the most indirect, and the most elegant of all compliments." (Shenstone) Synonym: Deference, Reverence, Respect. Deference marks an inclination to yield one's opinion, and to acquiesce in the sentiments of another in preference to one's own. Respect marks the estimation that we have for another, which makes us look to him as worthy of high confidence for the qualities of his mind and heart. Reverence denotes a mingling of fear with a high degree of respect and esteem. Age, rank, dignity, and personal merit call for deference; respect should be paid to the wise and good; reverence is due to God, to the authors of our being, and to the sanctity of the laws. Origin: F. Deference. See Defer. Source: Websters Dictionary (01 Mar 1998)

Deference Pictures

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Lexicographical Neighbors of Deference

defensive programming
defensive programmings
defensive structure
defensive tackle
defensive zone
defensive zones
deference (current term)

Literary usage of Deference

Below you will find example usage of this term as found in modern and/or classical literature:

1. The Living Age by Making of America Project, Eliakim Littell, Robert S. Littell (1868)
"Nor could this deference be otherwise than most grateful to Johnson ; for here was a man of unquestionable genius, with fame, fortune, influence, ..."

2. Studies in History and Jurisprudence by James Bryce Bryce (1901)
"Under the name of deference it is convenient to include the various cases in ... The force of the feeling of deference in securing compliance or adhesion ..."

3. Dictionary of National Biography by LESLIE. STEPHEN (1889)
"Notwithstanding the deference which he showed to Wolsey on this occasion, there existed between him and the all-powerful minister a strongly antagonistic ..."

4. The Life of Samuel Johnson, LL.D.: Including A Journal of a Tour to the by James Boswell, John Wilson Croker (1831)
"My opposition was very displeasing to my father, who was entitled to great respect and deference; and I had reason to apprehend disagreeable consequences ..."

5. The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire by Edward Gibbon (1843)
"In this conference we may discover the fierce passions of Galerius, as well as his deference to the superior wisdom and authority of Dioclesian. ..."

6. The Catholic Encyclopedia: An International Work of Reference on the by Charles George Herbermann, Edward Aloysius Pace, Condé Bénoist Pallen, Thomas Joseph Shahan, John Joseph Wynne (1913)
"... Archbishop of Aries in deference to the insistence of the cardinals; he compelled his only niece to discourage noble suitors and marry one of her own ..."

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