The noun deference means the gesture or respect that someone shows to a superior or an elder. This word also refers to the willingness to comply the wishes of another.

Synonyms are obedience, honor, yielding, or submission.

The word origins from French (16th century) déférence, borrowed from Middle French deference meaning “act of submitting” and deferer meaning “to yield, comply, or submit to another”. The word was first known to be used in 1660.

Sofia made sure not to wear revealing clothes when visiting her grandparents, to show deference.

In deference to my boss’ wishes, I worked overnight for a week.

She showed a pleasant deference to the old man by speaking politely and a bit louder as he can’t hear well.