What is the rule? Is it simply "use 'for' with 'respect', use 'to' with 'deference'", as the sentence below suggests, or is it more complicated than that?

She covered her head out of/in deference to (= because of a polite respect for) Muslim custom.

(from the Cambridge dictionary)

1 Answer 1


The idiomatic standard here is in deference to...

enter image description here

It's less common to use out of instead of in for the initial element, but no-one would think it was particularly "unusual". Except that looking at it now I see that in this exact context, the apparent opposites out [of] and in are completely equivalent and interchangeable, which seems a little odd!

I won't bother to display the corresponding chart for out of respect for, but if you follow the link you'll see this is the only acceptable version of the four permutations of prepositions with respect.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .