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Deference (also called submission or passivity) is the condition of submitting to the influence or will of others, often out of respect or reverence, and sometimes with an implicit or explicit yielding to the judgment of a recognized superior. Deference has been studied extensively by political scientists, sociologists, and psychologists.
- Moreover, among Women, we use language implying the utmost deference for their Sex; and they fully believe that the Chief Circle Himself is not more devoutly adored by us than they are; but behind their backs they are both regarded and spoken off –- by all except the very young as being better than “mindless organisms.
- With deference to all nations and followers of divine religions, we are asking if this atrocity is true, then why the people of the region should pay for it by occupation of Palestinian lands and unending suppression of Palestinian people, by homelessness of millions of Palestinians, by destruction of their cities and rural areas and agricultural lands.
- One dwells in suffering if one is without reverence and deference. Now what ascetic or brahmin can I honour and respect and dwell in dependence on?
- Angulimalo, in Anussati: the Recollections. with Quotes from the Pali Canon and Forest ..., p. 55
- There are very many characteristics which go to make a model civil servant; prominent among them are probity, industry, good sense, good habits, good temper, patience, order, courtesy, tact, self-reliance, manly deference to superior officers.
- Chester A. Arthur, in Friends' Intelligencer, Volume 38, p. 699
- The fact is, that you were sick of civility, of deference, of officious attention. You were disgusted with the women who were always speaking, and looking, and thinking for your approbation alone. I roused, and interested you, because I was so unlike them.
- Priests moreover are all the more singular and unclassifiable in that they do not recognize themselves as such and are nearly always dupes of the most gross outward appearances — whether of the irony of some or the servile deference of others.
- Georges Bernanos, in Monsieur Ouine, p. 177
- The President's need for complete candor and objectivity from advisors calls for great deference from the courts. However, when the privilege depends solely on the broad undifferentiated claim of public interest in the confidentiality of such conversations...
- Eminence without merit earns deference without esteem.
- Chamfort, et al, in Quotes about Respectability, p. 2
- But I have never been able to love what was not lovable or hate what was not hateful, out of deference for some general principle.
- Joseph Conrad, in Some Reminiscences, p. 9
- The president's need for complete candor and objectivity from advisers calls for great deference from the courts.
- U.S. Supreme Court, in the case of United State v. Nixon, 418 U.S. 683 (1974), in Political Corruption in America: An Encyclopedia of Scandals, Power, and Greed, p. 119
- Subjectively, social relations are more natural and egalitarian, and less marked by deference, submissiveness or snobbery, as one quickly discovers from the cab-driver, the barman, the air-hostess and the drug-store assistant.
- In a progressive country change is constant and the great question is not whether you should resists change which is inevitable, but whether that change should be carried out in deference to the manners, the customs, the laws and the traditions of a people, or whether it should be a carried out in deference to abstract principles, and arbitrary and general doctrines.
- Benjamin Disraeli, in Disraeli: or, The Two Lives, p. 9
- I desire to sever all connection with the Society of American Artists. In deference to some of its older members, who perhaps from sentimental motives requested me to reconsider my resignation last year, I shall explain... For the last three years my paintings have been rejected by you, one of them the Agnew portrait, a composition more important than any I have ever seen on your walls.
- Thomas Eakins, in Thomas Eakins: His Life and Work, p. 130
- Deference is the instinctive respect which we pay to the great and good — the unconscious acknowledgment of the superiority or excellence of others.
- Tryon Edwards, in Best Thoughts of Best Thinkers:, p. 547
- The best thing to give to your enemy is forgiveness; to an opponent, tolerance; to a friend, your heart; to your child, a good example; to a father, deference; to your mother, conduct that will make her proud of you; to yourself, respect; to all men, charity.
- No one would dream of surrendering any practical security, for the advantages of which he is actually in possession, in deference of the a priori jurisprudence of a whole Academy of philosophers.
- Gentlemen, be courteous to the old maids, no matter how poor and plain and prim, for the only chivalry worth having is that which is the readiest to to pay deference to the old, protect the feeble, and serve womankind, regardless of rank, age, or color.
- ...and that every hour of deference to slavery is an hour of added and deepened peril to the Union.
- I respect the establishments of the Revolution, at least as much as those who are remarked for their deference to them to serve on occasion. I am sensible how much was done for liberty at the Revolution.
- The character of a gentleman [I take it] may be explained nearly thus: A blackguard is a fellow who does not care whom he offends; a clown is a blockhead who does not know when he offends; A gentleman is one who understands and shows every mark of deference to the claims of self-love in others, and exacts it in return from them.
- The disquieting thing about newscaster-babble or editorial-speak is its ready availability as a serf idiom, a vernacular of deference.
- Among well-bred people a mutual deference is affected, contempt for others is disguised; authority concealed; attention given to each in his turn; and an easy stream of conversation maintained without vehemence, without interruption, without eagerness.
- ...disdain of arrogance and self-righteousness, a preference for truculent independence over prudent deference and conformity - these were the feelings that shaped his outlook on life.
- I protest against deference to any man, whether John Stuart Mill, or Adam Smith, or Aristotle, being allowed to check inquiry.
- W.S.Jevons, in his “Theory of Political economy”, in The Evolution of Economic Ideas, p. 90
- Arab world feel a sense of pride in shaking off decades of cowed passivity under dictatorships that ruled with no deference to popular wishes.
- ...the dark emotions hiding in very human life, whereas in association with others one easily forgets, so easily evades this, is easily stopped in so many ways get the opportunity to begin afresh - thought alone, conceived with due deference, could, I believe, chastise many a man in our day who believes he has already attained the highest.
- Great men always pay deference to greater.
- Walter Savage Lander, in Quotes about Greatness, p. 11
- Deference to popular opinion is one great source of bad writing, and is all the more disastrous because the deference is paid to some purely hypothetical requirement.
- George Henry Lewes, in The Writer, Volume 18, p. 21
- And yet no approach to such unanimity is attainable unless some deference shall be paid to the will of the majority simply because it is the will of the majority. In this case the common end is the maintenance of the Union, and among the means to secure that end such will, through the election, is most clearly declared in favor of such constitutional amendment.
- When they went down to the bunkhouse for dinner the vaqueros seemed to treat them with a certain deference but whether it was the deference accorded the accomplished or that accorded to mental defectives they were unsure.
- Cormac McCarthy, in Esquire's big book of fiction, p,147
- ...something extremely valuable to dispense (his currency is the strangely intoxicating substance called publicity), and who is consequently treated with a deference quite out of proportion to his merits as a person.
- The feeling of commiseration is the beginning of humanity; the feeling of shame and dislike is the beginning of righteousness; the feeling of deference and compliance is the beginning of propriety; and the feeling of right and wrong is the beginning of wisdom.
- Mencius, in A Source Book in Chinese Philosophy, p. 65
- The monarchy is a political referee, not a political player, and there is a lot of sense in choosing the referee by a different principle from the players. It lessens the danger that the referee might try to start playing... which I usually construct in terms of the way it institutionalises deference, can be expressed much more simply: it rots the brain. … This romancing about the royal family is, I fear, only a minor symptom of the softening of the brain of socialists ...
- In Monarchy, and in New Statesman, Volume 129, Issues 4493-4505, p. ixxxix
- It is a satisfaction to find that his consideration for others, his respect for and deference to those deserving such treatment, his care of his own body and tongue, and even his reverence for his Maker, all were early inculcated in him by precepts which were the common practice in decent society the world over.
- Charles Moore introducing George Washington, in Famous Quotes from 100 Great People, p. 2398
- Refusing to monumentalize, disdaining the final word, precise "summing up", acknowledging their "poor power to add or detract", his words signal deference to the uncapturability of the life it mourns.
- Toni Morrison in Literature, 1991-1995, p. 50
- If there's one thing the international community should do, if only out of deference because he won the election, is to take seriously his arguments that coca products have a place in the international commodities market.
- The poaching, rick-burning, and cattle maiming of traditional English societies implies a less than universal internalization of deference.
- It springs rather from my conviction that, if our civilization is to survive, we must break with the habit of deference to great men.
- Karl Popper, in The Open Society and its Enemies, p. 32
- If your civilization is to survive, we must break with the habit of deference to great men. Great men make mistakes.
- The lover's proposals are, upon the same principle, made in writing direct to the parents themselves, and without the least deference to great men. Great men may make mistakes; and [as the book tries show], some of the greatest leaders of the past supported the perennial attack on freedom and reason.
- A traveller has a right to relate and embellish his adventures as he pleases, and it is very impolite to refuse that deference and applause they deserve.
- Rudolph Erich Raspe, in Travelers & Travel Liars, p. 9
- Islam in its origins is just as shady and approximate as those from which it took its borrowings. It makes immense claims for itself, invokes prostrate submission or 'surrender' as a maxim to its adherents, and demands deference and respect from non-believers into the bargain.
- Defence, not defiance.
- Motto adopted by the "Volunteers," when there was fear of an invasion of England by Napoleon (1859).
- But he instinctively expects his wage-earners to render him, not only obedience, but also personal deference. If the wage contract is a bargain of purchase and sale like any other, why is the workman expected to touch his hat to his employer...
- Sidney Webb, 1st Baron Passfield, B. Webb,  Labour Law], p. 133
- One performed public duties, for which one was paid in full by deference; one was chaste, refusing to run away from one's husband with other men who for the most part did not ask one to do so, and who in any case had nothing to offer better than one’s own home.
- Rebecca West, in The Thinking Reed, p. 149
- These are salient facts...in Muhammad’s career. He too, founded a great religion, there are those who write of this evidently lustful and rather shifty leader as though he were a man to put beside Jesus of Nazareth or Gautama or Mani. But it surely manifests he was a being of a commoner clay; he was vain egotistical, tyrannous, and self deceiver; and it would throw all our history out of proportion if, out of an insincere deference to the possible Moslem reader, we were to present him in any other light.
- H. G. Wells, in "The Outline of History", in The Outline of History: Being a Plain History of Life and Mankind, Volume 2, p. 13
- You all very well know what deference I always pay, and ever will, to that part of the office of a jury which properly belongs to them. I never did, nor ever will, while I have the honour of executing the office of a judge attempt to control or influence the minds of a jury.
- Justice William Wondeful, on the trial of John Wilkis, in The Town and Country Magazine, Or Universal Repository of ..., Volume 1, p. 643
- Your friends praise your abilities to the skies, submit to you in argument, and seem to have the greatest deference for you; but, though they may ask it, you never find them following your advice upon their own affairs; nor allowing you to manage your own, without thinking that you should follow theirs. Thus, in fact, they all think themselves wiser than you, whatever they may say.