Synonyms & Antonyms of deference

a readiness or willingness to yield to the wishes of others
  • the sycophantic deference with which the hotel treats celebrity guests

Synonyms for deference

Words Related to deference

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Antonyms for deference

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Frequently Asked Questions About deference

How does the noun deference differ from other similar words?

Some common synonyms of deference are homage, honor, and reverence. While all these words mean "respect and esteem shown to another," deference implies a yielding or submitting to another's judgment or preference out of respect or reverence.

showed no deference to their elders

In what contexts can homage take the place of deference?

The words homage and deference can be used in similar contexts, but homage adds the implication of accompanying praise.

paying homage to Shakespeare

When is honor a more appropriate choice than deference?

The words honor and deference are synonyms, but do differ in nuance. Specifically, 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

When might reverence be a better fit than deference?

The synonyms reverence and deference are sometimes interchangeable, but reverence implies profound respect mingled with love, devotion, or awe.

great reverence for my father

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Time Traveler for deference

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The first known use of deference was in 1660

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Cite this Entry

“Deference.” Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 1 Aug. 2021.

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More from Merriam-Webster on deference

Nglish: Translation of deference for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of deference for Arabic Speakers


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