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

Soviet writers had to deal with illusion and lies on a daily basis in the certainty that disobedience was likely to lead to a death sentence. David Pryce-jones, National Review, "The Cold War of Words," 22 Aug. 2019 On Tuesday, during their final statements, most defense lawyers said their clients should be instead found guilty of disobedience, if anything, which could mean fines and a possible ban from holding public office. Washington Post, "AP Explains: Catalan trial that gripped Spain draws to close," 12 June 2019 The Lucifer envisioned by John Milton in 1667 was cast out of Heaven for disobedience and defiance against the kind of order that was indistinguishable from worship in the author’s time. Noah Rothman, National Review, "Kevin Williamson’s Revolt against the Hivemind," 25 July 2019 Yes, this movie is a safari to the shadowland, a place of death and fear where Simba ventures, early on, in disobedience of his father. Michael O'sullivan, Twin Cities, "‘The Lion King’ feels way more like ‘Hamlet’ this time — and that’s why it’s so good," 18 July 2019 Well, so much for freedom of speech, peaceful disobedience, and other ideas many Americans hold dear. Mark Kiszla, The Denver Post, "Kickin’ It with Kiz: Of all the strange things that could happen to Broncos in 2019, this might be the wackiest …," 13 July 2019 At a demonstration a little more than week earlier, some wondered aloud if Hong Kong’s summer of disobedience was too tame. Time, "'We Are Risking Everything.' Hong Kong's Young Rebels Stake Everything on Their Struggle," 5 July 2019 As part of the civil-disobedience acts, people blocked streets and government buildings and were arrested. Jessica Boehm, azcentral, "Phoenix police union 'likes' Facebook comment alleging Latino councilman takes cartel money," 28 June 2019 Crayton noted the district’s discipline manual now explicitly states a child cannot be expelled from school for disrespect or willful disobedience, uniform violations or as a result of multiple suspensions. nola.com, "New Orleans schools seek better discipline process as expulsions drop but suspensions rise," 27 June 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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Statistics for disobedience

Last Updated

13 Sep 2019

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Time Traveler for disobedience

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

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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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Comments on disobedience

What made you want to look up disobedience? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


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