• synonyms


[rev-er-uh ns, rev-ruh ns]
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  1. a feeling or attitude of deep respect tinged with awe; veneration.
  2. the outward manifestation of this feeling: to pay reverence.
  3. a gesture indicative of deep respect; an obeisance, bow, or curtsy.
  4. the state of being revered, or treated with respect tinged with awe.
  5. (initial capital letter) a title used in addressing or mentioning a member of the clergy (usually preceded by your or his).
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verb (used with object), rev·er·enced, rev·er·enc·ing.
  1. to regard or treat with reverence; venerate: One should reverence God and His laws.
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Origin of reverence

1250–1300; Middle English < Latin reverentia respect, fear, awe. See revere1, -ence
Related formsrev·er·enc·er, nounnon·rev·er·ence, nounself-rev·er·ence, nounun·rev·er·enced, adjective


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1. honor, esteem. 6. revere, honor, adore.


1. contempt.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for reverence


  1. a feeling or attitude of profound respect, usually reserved for the sacred or divine; devoted veneration
  2. an outward manifestation of this feeling, esp a bow or act of obeisance
  3. the state of being revered or commanding profound respect
  4. saving your reverence archaic a form of apology for using an obscene or taboo expression
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  1. (tr) to revere or venerate
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Derived Formsreverencer, noun


  1. (preceded by Your or His) a title sometimes used to address or refer to a Roman Catholic priest
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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 reverence


late 13c., from Old French reverence "respect, awe," from Latin reverentia "awe, respect," from revereri "to stand in awe of, respect, honor, fear, be afraid of; revere," from re-, intensive prefix (see re-), + vereri "stand in awe of, fear," from PIE *wer- "to be or become aware of, perceive, watch out for" (cf. Old English wær "aware, cautious;" see wary).

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late 14c., "treat with respect, honor; venerate, pay pious homage to; esteem, value; bow to (someone); do honor to," from reverence (n.). Related: Reverenced; reverencing.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper