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


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

Noman Junejo, 39, of the 1700 block of Tudor Lane, was charged on June 11 with obstructing identification, speeding, disobeying stop sign and failure to carry driver’s license in the 2100 block of Founders Drive. Pioneer Press, chicagotribune.com, "2 unlocked cars broken into in Northbrook on the same night: Police," 17 June 2019 In the rare cases when the pilot doesn’t answer the radio or disobeys a controller’s instructions, the FAA contacts North American Aerospace Defense Command to intercept the offending aircraft and guide it out of the no-fly zone. Washington Post, "Chopper crash raises old question: How to secure NYC’s skies," 12 June 2019 But some people complain the scooters are risky for inexperienced riders and clutter sidewalks when users disobey company instructions to park them out of the way. Nat Ives, WSJ, "Lime Ads Evoke a Mission Beyond Renting Out Scooters," 16 May 2019 Long Grove’s 112-year-old bridge was damaged June 27, 2018, after a truck driver disobeyed signs and drove over the iconic span. Robert Mccoppin, chicagotribune.com, "Village seeks to save 112-year-old bridge after truck severely damaged structure: 'This is the face of Long Grove'," 29 June 2018 Those individuals who disobeyed the orders of the Polish government in exile, and contributed to the Jewish tragedy, were criminals and should be condemned. chicagotribune.com, "Poland's misunderstood holocaust law," 19 Mar. 2018 The Trump administration and opposition hope military officials will disobey Mr. Maduro’s orders to block the food and medical supplies from entering, triggering a split that will eventually force him from power. Kejal Vyas, WSJ, "Venezuelan Official Breaks With Maduro," 21 Feb. 2019 In a sneak peak for the new episode of Blue Bloods, Danny Reagan (Donnie Wahlberg) decides he's had enough of listening to Jamie Reagan's (Will Estes) commands—but disobeying orders might put people in danger. Jennifer Aldrich, Country Living, "'Blue Bloods' Hints at Fight That Could Tear Brothers Danny and Jamie Reagan Apart," 1 Feb. 2019 Most of the people who were in the internment camps during the Second World War have died, including Fred Korematsu, the Oakland native who defied incarceration orders and was convicted of disobeying a military order. Jennifer Medina, New York Times, "For Survivors of Japanese Internment Camps, Court’s Korematsu Ruling Is ‘Bittersweet’," 28 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

23 Jun 2019

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Time Traveler for disobey

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

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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.

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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

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