dis·​obe·​di·​ence ˌdis-ə-ˈbē-dē-ən(t)s How to pronounce disobedience (audio)
: 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 These new laws are the direct result of corporate and energy interests trying to squash resistance to their projects—and represent a chilling new chapter in how the law will handle disobedience. Jenna Ruddock, The New Republic, 25 Sep. 2023 A little civil disobedience — musical disobedience — can be refreshing. Jay Nordlinger, National Review, 27 July 2023 Civil unrest, legal appeals and military disobedience: What Israel may face after Supreme Court law change Government ministers declined CNN’s request for an interview. Elliott Gotkine, CNN, 11 Aug. 2023 From escalated protests and possible military disobedience, to attempts by the court to rule the new law as invalid, coming days and weeks will test Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his far-right coalition’s readiness to defy public opinion. Nadeen Ebrahim, CNN, 25 July 2023 But symptoms of depression, anxiety and traumatic stress in Black students are often viewed by adults as disobedience, anger or insubordination. Annie Ma, Detroit Free Press, 2 June 2023 The catalyst or the nature of the disobedience may change, but the core issue remains. Tara García Mathewson, USA TODAY, 20 July 2023 Complaints of a weapons violation and disobedience to rules were dismissed because Evans resigned. Andrew Wolfson, The Courier-Journal, 27 May 2023 She was arrested and booked on felony counts of desertion and nonsupport of dependent children, as well as resisting or obstructing officers, criminal solicitation to commit a crime, contempt of court and willful disobedience of court process or order. Greg Hanlon, PEOPLE.com, 19 Apr. 2022 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'disobedience.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

15th century, in the meaning defined above

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

Dictionary Entries Near disobedience

Cite this Entry

“Disobedience.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/disobedience. Accessed 4 Oct. 2023.

Kids Definition


dis·​obe·​di·​ence ˌdis-ə-ˈbēd-ē-ən(t)s How to pronounce disobedience (audio)
: failure or refusal to obey
disobediently adverb

More from Merriam-Webster on disobedience

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