dis·​obey | \ ˌdis-ə-ˈbā How to pronounce disobey (audio) , -ō- \
disobeyed; disobeying; disobeys

Definition of disobey

transitive verb

: to fail to obey

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Other Words from disobey

disobeyer noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for disobey



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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 Prosecutors argue 17 people chose to obstruct streets and disobey police orders for more than a half-hour, according to court records. Lauren Castle, The Arizona Republic, 3 May 2021 The ability to confidently and respectfully disobey is a core skill for leaders at all levels. Isabelle Perreault, Forbes, 7 June 2021 Rumors of the pit’s riches spread, and a day later some miners decided to disobey the féticheur. Nicolas Niarchos, The New Yorker, 24 May 2021 But that flies in the face of the earlier discussion about the nature and frequency of human drivers that disobey a stop sign. Lance Eliot, Forbes, 7 Apr. 2021 House Bill 3059 would repeal the state statute allowing police officers to arrest any group of five or more people at will who disobey commands to disperse. Tim Gruver, Washington Examiner, 9 Apr. 2021 Gannett’s New York bureau did a Q&A on what happens if New Yorkers disobey Cuomo’s mask order. Staff, USA TODAY, 18 Mar. 2021 Nobody wants to disobey the handlers, because everyone's worried about their spot on the next all-stars. Dalton Ross, EW.com, 22 Mar. 2021 In the rapper’s home region of Catalonia, the unrest also comes after years of separatist politicians urging citizens to ignore or disobey court rulings unfavorable to their cause. Time, 23 Feb. 2021

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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Time Traveler for disobey

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for disobey

Last Updated

19 Jul 2021

Cite this Entry

“Disobey.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/disobey. Accessed 24 Jul. 2021.

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More Definitions for disobey



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 How to pronounce disobey (audio) \
disobeyed; disobeying

Kids Definition of disobey

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

More from Merriam-Webster on disobey

Nglish: Translation of disobey for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of disobey for Arabic Speakers


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