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Reverence vs Awe vs Fear

Reverenceawefear are comparable when they denote the emotion inspired by something which arouses one’s deep respect or veneration.

Reverence distinctively implies a recognition of the sacredness or inviolability of the person or thing which stimulates the emotion.

Awe, in all of its shades of meaning, fundamentally implies a sense of being overwhelmed or overcome by great superiority or impressiveness, typically manifested by an inability to speak in its presence or to come near to it. Otherwise, it may suggest any of such widely different reactions as adoration, profound reverence, wonder, terror, submissiveness or abashment.

Fear (see also FEAR 1 ) occurs, in the sense here considered, chiefly in religious use. In this sense and as referred chiefly to the Supreme Being as its cause, it implies awed recognition of his power and majesty and, usually, reverence for his law.