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  • (UK) IPA(key): [ˌdɛfəˈɹənʃəɫ]


deferential (comparative more deferential, superlative most deferential)

  1. respectful and considerate; showing deference
    • 2009, Elliott, Mark, “Torture, Deportation and Extra-Judicial Detention: Instruments of the “War on Terror””, in Cambridge Law Journal, volume 68, number 2, pages 245–246:
      […] Part 4 of the Anti-terrorism, Crime and Security Act 2001 […] provided for the indefinite detention without trial of foreign nationals reasonably suspected by the Home Secretary of involvement in international terrorism. In an attempt to head off challenges to that scheme as a violation of the right to personal liberty under Article 5 ECHR, the UK invoked Article 15, which permits derogation from certain rights (including liberty but not the right to be free from torture) if strictly necessary to answer demands imposed, inter alia, by a “public emergency threatening the life of the nation”. In A v. UK, the Grand Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights held that Part 4 of the 2001 Act was not a strictly necessary response to the acknowledged emergency evidenced by the attacks in the USA and that the detention of the applicants was in breach of Article 5. This conclusion is noteworthy given that the European Court has in the past adopted a deferential if not supine approach when assessing the legality of derogations under Article 15.
  2. (anatomy) of, or relating to the vas deferens
  3. based on deference; based on the doctrine, ideology, or wishes of others rather than one's own conclusions


Related terms[edit]