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[def-er-uh nt] /ˈdɛf ər ənt/
marked by or showing deference:
She was always deferent to her elders.
Origin of deferent1
First recorded in 1815-25; defer2 + -ent


[def-er-uh nt] /ˈdɛf ər ənt/
adjective, Anatomy.
conveying away; efferent.
of or relating to the vas deferens.
Astronomy. (in the Ptolemaic system) the circle around the earth in which a celestial body or the center of the epicycle of its orbit was thought to move.
1375-1425; late Middle English < Latin dēferent- (stem of dēferēns), present participle of dēferre. See defer2, -ent Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for deferent
Historical Examples
  • The earth-centered circle in which this traveled round was called the "deferent."

    Astronomy David Todd
  • The English governor, deferent toward the creeds of his various subjects, presented them with the necessary wood.

    Luna Benamor Vicente Blasco Ibez
  • The circle Dd, described by D, the centre of the epicycle, was called the deferent.

  • It is good to be glad one was not knifed, and to be deferent until more suitable occasion.

  • Corresponding to each planet there was supposed to be a circle called a deferent, which had the earth as its centre.

  • Bucky gave him outwardly a deferent ear, but his alert mind and eyes were scanning the prisoners they saw.

    Bucky O'Connor William MacLeod Raine
  • But his eyes were not cold, and they regarded her with deferent though daring steadiness.

    A Singular Life Elizabeth Stuart Phelps
  • Men do love to have girls appeal to their superior knowledge, and be admiring and deferent.

  • The moon moves on an epicycle centred on a second epicycle, itself centred on a deferent, excentric to the earth.

    History of Astronomy George Forbes
  • The man's tone was so earnest, and there was so deferent a look in his eyes, that the Princess recovered some of her courage.

    Fantmas Pierre Souvestre
British Dictionary definitions for deferent


another word for deferential


(esp of a bodily nerve, vessel, or duct) conveying an impulse, fluid, etc, outwards, down, or away; efferent
(astronomy) (in the Ptolemaic system) a circle centred on the earth around which the centre of the epicycle was thought to move
Word Origin
C17: from Latin dēferre; 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 deferent

1620s, from French déférent (16c.), from Latin deferentem (nominative deferens), present participle of deferre "to carry down or away" (see defer (v.2)). Earlier in Middle English as a word in astronomy (early 15c.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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deferent in Medicine

deferent def·er·ent (děf'ər-ənt, děf'rənt)
Carrying down or away, as a duct or vessel.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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