[ 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 formsnon·def·er·ence, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for deference

British Dictionary definitions for deference


/ (ˈdɛfərəns) /


submission to or compliance with the will, wishes, etc, of another
courteous regard; respect

Word Origin for deference

C17: from French déférence; 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 deference



1640s, from French déférence (16c.), from déférer (see defer (v.2)).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper