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3 definitions found
 for deference
From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48 :

  Deference \Def"er*ence\, n. [F. d['e]f['e]rence. See 3d
     A yielding of judgment or preference from respect to the
     wishes or opinion of another; submission in opinion; regard;
     respect; complaisance.
     [1913 Webster]
           Deference to the authority of thoughtful and sagacious
           men.                                     --Whewell.
     [1913 Webster]
           Deference is the most complicate, the most indirect,
           and the most elegant of all compliments. --Shenstone.
     Syn: Deference, Reverence, Respect.
     Usage: Deference marks an inclination to yield one's opinion,
            and to acquiesce in the sentiments of another in
            preference to one's own. Respect marks the estimation
            that we have for another, which makes us look to him
            as worthy of high confidence for the qualities of his
            mind and heart. Reverence denotes a mingling of fear
            with a high degree of respect and esteem. Age, rank,
            dignity, and personal merit call for deference;
            respect should be paid to the wise and good; reverence
            is due to God, to the authors of our being, and to the
            sanctity of the laws.
            [1913 Webster]

From WordNet (r) 3.0 (2006) :

      n 1: a courteous expression (by word or deed) of esteem or
           regard; "his deference to her wishes was very flattering";
           "be sure to give my respects to the dean" [syn:
           deference, respect]
      2: courteous regard for people's feelings; "in deference to your
         wishes"; "out of respect for his privacy" [syn: deference,
         respect, respectfulness]
      3: a disposition or tendency to yield to the will of others
         [syn: complaisance, compliance, compliancy,
         obligingness, deference]

From Moby Thesaurus II by Grady Ward, 1.0 :

  93 Moby Thesaurus words for "deference":
     acceptance, acquiescence, admiration, adoration, affability,
     agreeableness, allegiance, amenity, apotheosis, appreciation,
     approbation, approval, assent, assigned task, awe, bounden duty,
     breathless adoration, burden, business, call of duty, charge,
     civility, comity, commitment, complaisance, compliance, consent,
     considerateness, consideration, courteousness, courtesy,
     dedication, deification, devoir, devotion,
     duties and responsibilities, duty, esteem, estimation, ethics,
     exaggerated respect, favor, fealty, gracefulness, graciousness,
     great respect, hero worship, high regard, homage, honor, idolatry,
     idolization, imperative, kneeling, line of duty, loyalty, mission,
     must, nonopposal, nonopposition, nonresistance, obedience,
     obeisance, obligation, onus, ought, passiveness, passivity, place,
     politeness, prestige, regard, resignation, resignedness, respect,
     respectfulness, reverence, reverential regard, self-imposed duty,
     solicitousness, solicitude, subjection, submission, submissiveness,
     submittal, supineness, tact, tactfulness, thoughtfulness, urbanity,
     veneration, worship, yielding

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