View synonyms for deferential


[ def-uh-ren-shuhl ]


  1. showing deference; deferent; respectful.

    Synonyms: reverential, obedient, dutiful, regardful, courteous


/ ˌdɛfəˈrɛnʃəl /


  1. marked by or showing deference or respect; respectful

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Derived Forms

  • ˌdeferˈentially, adverb

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Other Words From

  • defer·ential·ly adverb
  • nondef·er·ential adjective
  • nondef·er·ential·ly adverb
  • over·defer·ential adjective
  • over·defer·ential·ly adverb
  • undef·er·ential adjective
  • undef·er·ential·ly adverb

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Word History and Origins

Origin of deferential1

1815–25; after deference, by analogy with such pairs as residence: residential

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Example Sentences

Every case is limited to the facts, and the appellate court was more deferential to Wooten’s testimony and expertise, said Abe Cisneros, another public records attorney.

The disarray of a scattered curriculum, the disenchantment of talented yet deferential faculty, and the disorientation of precious students loom large.

Antony Blinken, who once served under Kerry, is now secretary of state, and Kerry has tried to remain deferential, even if his early enthusiasm has caused some administrative quandaries.

EPD spokesperson Kevin Chambers, who did not make any agency officials available for an interview, said in a statement that the EPD “does not provide deferential treatment” to Georgia Power.

Some have questioned whether he assumed that the crowd would be deferential to police or wondered if he was too focused on his impending retirement.

She's a businesswoman, smart and not particularly deferential toward him.

Colbert was properly, perhaps pitifully, deferential to Letterman.

Now is not the time for lackadaisical, quiet and deferential diplomacy.

A video of their meeting shows Akkari slightly nervous, almost deferential, and expressing his profound apologies.

Female subordinates are often less respectful of, and deferential to, their female bosses than they are to their male bosses.

There was in his manner towards her a mixture of business formality and the deferential attitude of a gentleman.

"Mademoiselle," I said, and my manner was as deferential as it might have been to her mistress.

Festooned flowers, deferential service, barbaric, subtly lascivious music—this waste would have fed those workers for years!

(placing an open copy of "Andromeda" in his hands with a charming air of deferential dictation).

"Shall be done, General," Marcus responded, with a deferential military salute.


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