rev·​er·​ence | \ ˈrev-rən(t)s How to pronounce reverence (audio) , ˈre-və-; ˈre-vərn(t)s\

Definition of reverence

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : honor or respect felt or shown : deference especially : profound adoring awed respect
2 : a gesture of respect (such as a bow)
3 : the state of being revered
4 : one held in reverence used as a title for a clergyman


rev·​er·​ence | \ ˈrev-rən(t)s How to pronounce reverence (audio) , ˈre-və-; ˈre-vərn(t)s\
reverenced; reverencing

Definition of reverence (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

: to regard or treat with reverence

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Other Words from reverence


reverencer noun

Synonyms for reverence

Synonyms: Verb

adore, deify, glorify, revere, venerate, worship

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Choose the Right Synonym for reverence


honor, homage, reverence, deference mean respect and esteem shown to another. honor may apply to the recognition of one's right to great respect or to any expression of such recognition. the nomination is an honor homage adds the implication of accompanying praise. paying homage to Shakespeare reverence implies profound respect mingled with love, devotion, or awe. great reverence for my father deference implies a yielding or submitting to another's judgment or preference out of respect or reverence. showed no deference to their elders


revere, reverence, venerate, worship, adore mean to honor and admire profoundly and respectfully. revere stresses deference and tenderness of feeling. a professor revered by her students reverence presupposes an intrinsic merit and inviolability in the one honored and a similar depth of feeling in the one honoring. reverenced the academy's code of honor venerate implies a holding as holy or sacrosanct because of character, association, or age. heroes still venerated worship implies homage usually expressed in words or ceremony. worships their memory adore implies love and stresses the notion of an individual and personal attachment. we adored our doctor

Examples of reverence in a Sentence


The national pickle dish, kimchi, is held in such reverence that Seoul boasts a museum devoted entirely to its 160 different varieties. The Encyclopedia of Herbs, Spices, & Flavorings, 1992 Reverence for or worship of the dead is found in all societies, because belief in life after death is universal. World Religions, 1983 He took the command of this small party at once—the little girl and the little boy following him about with great reverence at such times as he condescended to sport with them. — William Makepeace Thackeray, Vanity Fair, 1848 Her poems are treated with reverence by other poets. Their religion has a deep reverence for nature.


Only acquaintance with the great models of antiquity moves men to love and reverence the great authors of their own time … — John Clive, Not By Fact Alone, 1989 It is our most fundamental political document, reverenced by all, the supposed cement of our society, yet it is read by few and understood by fewer still. — David M. Kennedy, New York Times Book Review, 14 Sept. 1986 None of us like mediocrity, but we all reverence perfection. — Mark Twain, A Tramp Abroad, 1880 devotees coming to reverence their god
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

But lacking American-style reverence for their founders, Canadians have allowed leftists to vandalize their historical memory. Elliot Kaufman, WSJ, "Toppling a Statue North of the Border," 13 Aug. 2018 How good is Bill Belichick and his program if, say, there’s 30% less reverence for it? Andy Benoit,, "Brady and Gronk Stay Home; What Does That Mean for The Patriot Way?," 20 Apr. 2018 As another vote loomed in 1937, supporters of keeping the cemetery in place tried to arouse reverence for the site. Gary Kamiya, San Francisco Chronicle, "How San Francisco evicted thousands of dead people," 13 Apr. 2018 Shop at La Galeria Elefante Designer Victoria Durrer Gasse’s devotion to Ibiza and reverence for travel have manifested in a ten-room concept shop, La Galeria Elefante, housed in a traditional farmhouse near Santa Gertrudis. Elizabeth Wellington, Vogue, "For Authentic Ibiza, Visit in the Winter," 15 Feb. 2019 But this anger at the media’s disrespect of Trump, as a president, is not matched by reverence for his signature legislative achievement, as a policy. Eric Levitz, Daily Intelligencer, "The Democratic Party Has an ‘MSNBC Problem’," 16 May 2018 And yet, men’s magazines still pay reverence to cocktail culture as if none of the lessons of Cheever era had ever been absorbed. Ginia Bellafante, New York Times, "Schneiderman’s Downfall Puts a Spotlight on Men, Alcohol and Violence," 9 May 2018 Ajayi spoke with a kind of reverence of the running back room itself at the NovaCare Complex. Mike Jensen,, "How Jay Ajayi helped the Eagles solve the Super Bowl puzzle | Mike Jensen," 5 Feb. 2018 The reverence [of love] can be very really religious in nature. Danielle Young, The Root, "Ericka and Ebony: ‘Our Love Is Not Complicit in White Systems’," 27 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

A life cut short by unexpected catastrophe is reverenced. Christopher Knight,, "Jessie Homer French at Various Small Fires: In death, she finds life," 6 May 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'reverence.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of reverence


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


14th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for reverence


Middle English, borrowed from Anglo-French, borrowed from Latin reverentia, from reverent-, reverens "respectful, reverent" + -ia -ia entry 1


Middle English reverencen, derivative of reverence reverence

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Dictionary Entries near reverence







Reverend Mother

Statistics for reverence

Last Updated

15 May 2019

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Time Traveler for reverence

The first known use of reverence was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for reverence



English Language Learners Definition of reverence

formal : honor or respect that is felt for or shown to (someone or something)


rev·​er·​ence | \ ˈre-və-rəns How to pronounce reverence (audio) , ˈrev-rəns\

Kids Definition of reverence

: honor and respect often mixed with love and awe

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Comments on reverence

What made you want to look up reverence? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to speak slightingly about or to degrade

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