dis·​obey | \ˌdis-ə-ˈbā, -ō-\

Definition of disobey 

transitive verb

: to fail to obey

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Other Words from disobey

disobeyer noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for disobey


defy, mock, rebel (against)


comply (with), conform (to), follow, mind, obey

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Examples of disobey in a Sentence

If you disobey, you will be severely punished. The soldier disobeyed the general's orders. He was afraid to disobey his father. The driver had disobeyed the law.
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Recent Examples on the Web

Lerer also noted that there's an easy way to manage how the scooters are parked: impose stricter geofencing and penalize riders who disobey those rules. Cyrus Farivar, Ars Technica, "Lawyer suing e-scooter companies calls user agreements “draconian”," 23 Oct. 2018 Those who disobeyed faced whippings, hefty fines, detention, and even execution—often in public rituals designed to terrify others into submission. Sophia Jones, Marie Claire, "The Truth About The Wives of ISIS," 4 Oct. 2018 The Corps had been investigating charges that Pistolis disobeyed an order or regulation and made false statements. Fox News, "Marine connected to Charlottesville rally faces imprisonment," 22 June 2018 Smith faces charges that include reckless conduct, disobeying a police officer, unauthorized use of a motor vehicle, driving after suspension/revocation, resisting arrest, criminal mischief, and driving under the influence of drugs/alcohol. Andres Picon, BostonGlobe.com, "Man flees police, crashes car in Manchester, N.H.," 10 July 2018 Another judge found then-Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio to be in civil contempt in May 2016 for disobeying a court order to stop his immigration patrols. Washington Post, "Arizona’s prisons boss found in contempt over inmate care," 22 June 2018 Lampy, like so many of the people Farouk encounters, is disobeying the trees. Margot Livesey, BostonGlobe.com, "Braiding lives of a Syrian refugee, a failed 23-year-old, and elderly accountant," 13 July 2018 Isaias Solis-Rumbo, 27, 1800 block of Nottingham Drive, Aurora, was charged with drunken driving, improper lane usage and disobeying a stop sign following a traffic stop at 1:26 a.m. Friday near East Street and Claim Street, Aurora police said. Erika Wurst, Aurora Beacon-News, "Police: Aurora man charged with motor vehicle theft," 6 July 2018 Malta is investigating whether the Lifeline's crew disobeyed any orders in rescue the migrants. Fox News, "Spanish rescue boat saves 60 migrants off Libyan coast," 30 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'disobey.' 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 disobey

14th century, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense

History and Etymology for disobey

Middle English, from Anglo-French desobeir, from des- dis- + obeir to obey

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Statistics for disobey

Last Updated

24 Nov 2018

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Time Traveler for disobey

The first known use of disobey was in the 14th century

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English Language Learners Definition of disobey

: to not do what someone or something with authority tells you to do : to refuse or fail to obey rules, laws, etc.


dis·​obey | \ˌdis-ə-ˈbā \
disobeyed; disobeying

Kids Definition of disobey

: to refuse or fail to behave as told or taught He disobeyed his parents.

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More from Merriam-Webster on disobey

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with disobey

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for disobey

Spanish Central: Translation of disobey

Nglish: Translation of disobey for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of disobey for Arabic Speakers

Comments on disobey

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


to move with a clumsy heavy tread

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