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

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 But former detainees say they have been sent to the facilities on charges of disobedience or even because of minor disagreements at home. Lynzy Billing, ELLE, 7 June 2022 In fact, his impulse toward disobedience created something of a rut for him in the chaotic mid-Nineties under Boris Yeltsin: when everything is permitted, there is nothing to transgress. Jennifer Wilson, Harper’s Magazine , 25 May 2022 Universities have very little tolerance for any act of disobedience. New York Times, 24 May 2022 At the dinner table, after her mother asks her to close her mouth while chewing, Rocío sneers toward her and begins masticating with her mouth wide open, a teen-age-like act of disobedience that feels more silly than rebellious. The New Yorker, 11 May 2022 The leniency shown toward maskless officers who are clearly guilty not only leaves their disobedience unpunished but also effectively condones it, Gude said. Karen Kaplan, Los Angeles Times, 10 May 2022 Sharply falling case numbers have allowed more than half of the city’s 25 million residents to step out of their homes—and many are venting a month’s worth of frustration at being isolated with insufficient food via public acts of disobedience. Wenxin Fan, WSJ, 2 May 2022 Maybe this is why Mike came close to an act of disobedience that verged on career suicide. New York Times, 15 Apr. 2022 My favorite scene, which may be a spoiler so feel free to skip ahead two paragraphs, is when Ming, furious over her daughter’s disobedience and sass, unleashes her own red panda. Los Angeles Times, 11 Mar. 2022 See More

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.

First Known Use of disobedience

15th century, in the meaning defined above

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

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Last Updated

11 Jun 2022

Cite this Entry

“Disobedience.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/disobedience. Accessed 1 Jul. 2022.

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More Definitions for disobedience


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.

More from Merriam-Webster on disobedience

Nglish: Translation of disobedience for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of disobedience for Arabic Speakers


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