- Showing deference; respectful: people were always deferential to himMore example sentences
- Some bosses like their employees to be blunt and assertive; others like them respectful and deferential.
- He felt that he was always deferential and respectful.
- He was accompanied by a friend, a man of imposing physique, whose deferential manner and constant attention showed that his position was one of dependence.
- More example sentences
- But one cannot please all of the people all of the time: occasionally someone would step up onto the stage and ask deferentially, ‘Gentlemen, could you play something less modern?’
- ‘I won't attempt to sing it to you,’ she says deferentially.
- A uniformed retainer interrupts us deferentially to say that ‘His Highness’ is ready to receive us.
early 19th century: from deference, on the pattern of pairs such as prudence, prudential.