Try Our Apps


90s Slang You Should Know


[def-uh-ren-shuh l] /ˌdɛf əˈrɛn ʃəl/
showing deference; deferent; respectful.
Origin of deferential
1815-25; after deference, by analogy with such pairs as residence: residential
Related forms
deferentially, adverb
nondeferential, adjective
nondeferentially, adverb
overdeferential, adjective
overdeferentially, adverb
undeferential, adjective
undeferentially, adverb
courteous, regardful, dutiful, obedient, reverential. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for deferentially
Historical Examples
  • But by this time the marquis was speechless, and François, taking the valise in hand, deferentially left the room.

    The Strollers Frederic S. Isham
  • He bowed to her as deferentially as to a sultana, when he made his answer.

    Theo Mrs. Frances Hodgson Burnett
  • "Home," said the genial banker, as he deferentially questioned the Lady of the Silver Bungalow.

    A Fascinating Traitor Richard Henry Savage
  • She came in, deferentially; yet with a quiet dignity of manner.

    The Mistress of Shenstone Florence L. Barclay
  • “Ay bane looking for your razor, kiddo,” said Hulda deferentially.

    The Shriek Charles Somerville
  • "Mathilde will be here in a moment," said Caron deferentially.

    The Trampling of the Lilies Rafael Sabatini
  • With Tosca Scarpia begins his interview quietly, deferentially.

  • Jim looked at her deferentially, as he passed, a hand ready for his hat.

    The Prisoner Alice Brown
  • “I am aware of your peculiar views, sir,” the young doctor put in deferentially, yet with a certain impatience.

    The Wolves of God Algernon Blackwood
  • He said deferentially in the first place that he was not a savage.

British Dictionary definitions for deferentially


marked by or showing deference or respect; respectful
Derived Forms
deferentially, adverb
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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for deferentially



1822, from deferent + -ial; as a word in anatomy, from 1877. Related: Deferentially.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
deferentially in Medicine

deferential def·er·en·tial (děf'ə-rěn'shəl)
Of or relating to the vas deferens.

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

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for deferential

Few English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for deferentially

Scrabble Words With Friends

Nearby words for deferentially