Establishing the etymological origin of the word deference is an action that, irremediably, leads us to have to go to Latin. And it is that it is derived from the sum of three elements:
- The prefix “de-“, which is used to indicate “from top to bottom”.
- The verb “fero”, which is synonymous with “carry”.
- The suffix “-encia”, which comes to indicate “action or quality of an agent”.
The concept of deference is used to name a testimony or a demonstration that reflects respect or gratitude towards someone.
- Abbreviationfinder: Find definitions of English word – Agriculture. Commonly used abbreviations related to word are also included.
For example: “I appreciate the courtesy you have shown in coming to my house to talk about this matter”, “I don’t understand your attitude: Marta had the courtesy to tell you that she was going to resign a month in advance and you responded with shouts and insults”, “I do not tolerate deference towards a person who has treated you so badly”.
Deference, however, can be understood as something that transcends courtesy and approaches condescension. In these cases, deference implies joining a thought or behavior that is foreign, just to look good with the person responsible.
Starting from that meaning, we could say that deference is, therefore, synonymous with words such as kindness, compliance, attention, kindness, consideration or courtesy. On the contrary, among its antonyms are rudeness, contempt, insolence, impertinence, impudence, imprudence or irreverence.
In other contexts, deference is a kind action performed by a person who is situated in a higher position than the recipient of the act. Said superiority can be hierarchical, of force, of status or of another kind. Suppose a professional tennis player faces an amateur. If he played to the best of his ability, the professional would crush the amateur and the game would last a few minutes. The professional player, however, may have the courtesy to regulate his strength so that the match is more even and the amateur can have fun and compete.
Another example that we can use to better explain the term is when the king receives a very humble gift from some of the citizens of his country. In that case, he accepts it, while he thanks them, as a show of deference. It would be a case in which it is carried out between individuals of different social ranks.
Another example of deference occurs when a famous singer decides to visit a radio program made by journalism students that is broadcast from a small community station. The artist knows that his visit will not generate revenue in terms of dissemination, but he has the deference to participate in the program out of respect for those who carry it out with effort.
We cannot also ignore the existence of what is known as the doctrine of judicial deference to the executive. It is typical of the United States and, among other issues, it comes to leave on the table that the courts must give deference to the interpretation given by the relevant administrative agency in matters of legal texts and as long as it has managed to pass what is known as test of reasonableness.