dis·​obe·​di·​ence | \ ˌdis-ə-ˈbē-dē-ən(t)s How to pronounce disobedience (audio) , -ō-ˈbē- \

Definition of disobedience

: refusal or neglect to obey

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Examples of disobedience in a Sentence

The student's disobedience shocked the teacher. The dog was punished for its disobedience.
Recent Examples on the Web There are some travesties relating to executive compensation, product safety and disobedience of laws. Jason Zweig, WSJ, "Why Invest? A 22-Year-Old’s Tough Questions About Capitalism," 24 Jan. 2020 From a short distance away, a faint haze could be seen above the rally, a manifestation of the public disobedience on the Common. BostonGlobe.com, "have had to fight for the right to use the Common," 22 Sep. 2019 There are a lot of different concepts about what nonviolent disobedience means. Quartz Staff, Quartz, "From Sudan to Hong Kong to Chile, what it was like to be one of the protesters of 2019," 28 Dec. 2019 And not all of the country’s sports stars gave in to pressure from their bosses to dope, which included sinister threats about unspecified repercussions for disobedience. The Economist, "Moscow rules Russia’s supposedly stiff penalty for doping is a ban in name only," 9 Dec. 2019 But there’s something irresistible about that kind of neighborly support and etiquette disobedience. The Christian Science Monitor, "A triumph of truth about China’s detention camps," 19 Nov. 2019 Arpaio, who didn’t attend Wednesday’s hearing, has acknowledged continuing his immigration patrols but insisted his disobedience wasn’t intentional. Washington Post, "Ex-Arizona sheriff doesn’t want conviction raised the future," 23 Oct. 2019 Three other separatist leaders were sentenced for the lesser crime of disobedience during the events two years ago. Raphael Minder, New York Times, "Catalonia Protesters, Slipping the Reins of Jailed Leaders, Grow More Radicalized," 18 Oct. 2019 Shortly before their trial began, however, the judge, Lisa Godbey Wood, following a precedent set in past Plowshares and other civil-disobedience cases, excluded material on those topics from evidence. Paul Elie, The New Yorker, "The Pope and Catholic Radicals Come Together Against Nuclear Weapons," 19 Nov. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'disobedience.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of disobedience

15th century, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for disobedience

Time Traveler

The first known use of disobedience was in the 15th century

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Statistics for disobedience

Last Updated

1 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Disobedience.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/disobedience. Accessed 23 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for disobedience


How to pronounce disobedience (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of disobedience

: refusal or failure to obey rules, laws, etc. : a lack of obedience


dis·​obe·​di·​ence | \ ˌdis-ə-ˈbē-dē-əns How to pronounce disobedience (audio) \

Kids Definition of disobedience

: an act of failing or refusing to behave as told or taught The dog was punished for disobedience.

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