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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. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for deference
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Garson, however, was unconvinced, notwithstanding his deference to the judgment of his leader.

    Within the Law Marvin Dana
  • Yes, sir; but not my anxiety for your approbation, and my deference for your opinion.

  • He spoke with deference, but nevertheless there was a touch of reproach in his tone.

  • Perhaps her deference to my uncle made me feel as if she and I were more on a level.

    Wilfrid Cumbermede George MacDonald
  • Clotilde, herself, ceasing to smile, seemed to listen to him with deference.

    Doctor Pascal Emile Zola
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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