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[def-er-uh nt]
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  1. 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]
adjective Anatomy.
  1. conveying away; efferent.
  2. of or relating to the vas deferens.
  1. 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.

Origin of deferent2

1375–1425; late Middle English < Latin dēferent- (stem of dēferēns), present participle of dēferre. See defer2, -ent
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for deferent

Historical Examples

  • The earth-centered circle in which this traveled round was called the "deferent."


    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.

British Dictionary definitions for deferent


  1. another word for deferential


  1. (esp of a bodily nerve, vessel, or duct) conveying an impulse, fluid, etc, outwards, down, or away; efferent
  1. 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 defer ²
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

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

deferent in Medicine


(dĕfər-ənt, dĕfrənt)
  1. 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.