no, not the same.
waitlist means that they made a decision on your application and that is that you can only get in if all the other people who they've given offers to decline and there's a slot open.
deferral means they're waiting to make a decision and will either decide to admit, deny, or waitlist you. you very well could get denied, or you could be one of those people who get in above the waitlist people.
your shots are better with the deferrals...
it generally means you're amongst their "average" candidates and they're waiting til all the applications come in to make a decision.
not as good as getting in early, but not as bad as being denied or waitlisted.