Reverent vs reverend

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The words reverent and reverend can be confusing. Though they are spelled and pronounced similarly, the two words have slightly different meanings. We will look at the definitions of reverent and reverend, when to use these two words, their origins and some examples of their use in sentences.

Reverent describes someone or something showing deep respect or a solemnity. Reverent is an adjective, related words are reverently, reverence. The word reverent is derived from the Old French word reverent.

Reverend refers to a Christian clergyman, it may be used as a noun or an adjective. When used as a title the word is capitalized and preceded by a definite article, as in the Reverend John Doe. Though the term is more correctly rendered preceded by the indefinite article, it is becoming more and more common to see the title rendered without an indefinite article, as in Reverend John Doe. When addressing a Christian clergyman verbally, it is most common to address Protestant clergymen as Reverend and Catholic clergymen as Father. However, when referring to a Catholic clergyman in writing, he is usually referred to as The Reverend John Doe or The Reverend Father John Doe. The word reverend is derived from the Middle French word reverend.


From gorgeous statues to reverent words from various interviewees along the way to the massive scope Babel’s works take across Europe, there is no mistake the impact his work has had on Europe. (The Washington Square News)

I arrive at Picture, a likeable English mezze restaurant round the corner from Broadcasting House in London, at the same time as the Reverend Richard Coles. (The Guardian)

A Burnley reverend is set to take the nation by storm as part of an ecclesiastical comedy duo that will feature on the ITV2 show ‘The Xtra Factor Live’, which follows ‘The X Factor’ every week. (The Burnley Express)