1. a feeling or attitude of deep respect tinged with awe; veneration.
  2. the outward manifestation of this feeling: to pay reverence.
  3. a gesture indicative of deep respect; an obeisance, bow, or curtsy.
  4. the state of being revered, or treated with respect tinged with awe.
  5. (initial capital letter) a title used in addressing or mentioning a member of the clergy (usually preceded by your or his).

verb (used with object), rev·er·enced, rev·er·enc·ing.

  1. to regard or treat with reverence; venerate: One should reverence God and His laws.


  1. a feeling or attitude of profound respect, usually reserved for the sacred or divine; devoted veneration
  2. an outward manifestation of this feeling, esp a bow or act of obeisance
  3. the state of being revered or commanding profound respect
  4. saving your reverence archaic a form of apology for using an obscene or taboo expression


  1. (tr) to revere or venerate


  1. (preceded by Your or His) a title sometimes used to address or refer to a Roman Catholic priest

late 13c., from Old French reverence “respect, awe,” from Latin reverentia “awe, respect,” from revereri “to stand in awe of, respect, honor, fear, be afraid of; revere,” from re-, intensive prefix (see re-), + vereri “stand in awe of, fear,” from PIE *wer- “to be or become aware of, perceive, watch out for” (cf. Old English wær “aware, cautious;” see wary).


late 14c., “treat with respect, honor; venerate, pay pious homage to; esteem, value; bow to (someone); do honor to,” from reverence (n.). Related: Reverenced; reverencing.

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