Thesaurus

deference

noun

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

Near Antonyms for deference

Antonyms for deference

See the Dictionary Definition 

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about deference

Time Traveler for deference

Time Traveler

The first known use of deference was in 1660

See more words from the same year

Listen to Our Podcast about deference

Cite this Entry

“Deference.” Merriam-Webster.com Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/thesaurus/deference. Accessed 18 May. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More from Merriam-Webster on deference

Dictionary: Definition of deference

Nglish: Translation of deference for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of deference for Arabic Speakers

Comments on deference

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

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

Words Used by Nabokov Quiz

  • image1676440788
  • Choose the best definition or synonym for the word in bold: "There are some eructations that sound like cheers—at least, mine did." Lolita
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Typeshift

Anagram puzzles meet word search.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!