Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • adj. Marked by or exhibiting deference.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. respectful and considerate; showing deference
  • adj. of, or relating to the vas deferens

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Expressing deference; accustomed to defer.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Expressing or characterized by deference; respectful in manner.
  • In anatomy, conveying away or carrying off; specifically, pertaining to the vas deferens, or deferent duct of the testes.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adj. showing deference

Etymologies

Sorry, no etymologies found.

Examples

  • The word deferential seems like a negative for me, as though she was telling me I was passive, too quiet or not as strong as other supervisors.

    Ask Amy

  • She composed her features into what she hoped was an expression of deferential alertness.

    The Mistaken Wife

  • He reached forward and, head bowed in deferential respect, he made so as to lift the holy book, and it yielded to his purity and righteousness, and opened for him.

    365 tomorrows » Divine Revelation : A New Free Flash Fiction SciFi Story Every Day

  • His strongly gentle features held an expression of deferential respect without being ingratiating.

    Touch the Wind

  • In a brief couple of paragraphs she talks about the novel’s opening scene and points to Fitzgerald’s unusual use of the word deferential and notes how the phrase “rotted like water lilies among the massed pines” evokes what “will come to seem increasingly applicable to much of what happens in a novel that is partly about the dissolution and decay of romance and beauty.”

    2007 June 15 « Exile on Ninth Street

  • He nodded in a manner that could only be described as deferential, and walked on to meet them.

    The Carides Pregnancy

  • Honour may be defined as the deferential recognition by word or sign of another's worth or station.

    The Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume 7: Gregory XII-Infallability

  • Mr. Haggerty has been described as deferential to his political mentors.

    Amherst Times

  • This, on the heels of his deep bow to Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah (the Queen of England merited what can at best be described as a deferential nod).

    A New Dark Age Is Dawning

  • Choice of Fentress as Terminal 1 architect sparks rare RDU skirmish Raleigh-Durham Airport Authority has long been known as a deferential body - some would even say a rubber stamp - for RDU staff recommendations.

    Dallas Business News - Local Dallas News | Dallas Business Journal

Comments

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  • "His face assumes a deferential expression..." Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen

    October 17, 2010