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

Definition of disobey

transitive verb

: to fail to obey

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from disobey

disobeyer noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for disobey



Visit the Thesaurus for More 

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.
See More
Recent Examples on the Web Further Reading Disney’s Gravity Falls is weird Americana meets Lovecraft for kids More often than that, Enter the Florpus elicits laughs—serious out-loud howls—for its willingness to abruptly disobey all logic and reason in the name of absurdity. Sam Machkovech, Ars Technica, "Invader Zim: Enter the Florpus," 16 Aug. 2019 The lawmakers disobeyed the strongest possible warning from their party to help opposition Labour lawmakers wrench control of the legislative business in Parliament from Mr. Johnson. Benjamin Mueller, New York Times, "Britain’s Conservatives Erupt Into Civil War as Unlikely Rebels Defy Boris Johnson," 3 Sep. 2019 Male, 23, arrested on suspicion of a residential burglary, disobeying a court order and vandalism involving the theft of a $100 Samsung cell phone, 200 block Main Street. Ramona Sentinel, "Sheriff’s Reports: Sept. 2-8," 10 Sep. 2019 He was also charged with aggravated discharge of a firearm at an occupied vehicle, use of a firearm by a felon, and aggravated fleeing of police and disobeying two or more traffic devices. Alice Yin, chicagotribune.com, "Man charged with attempted murder after allegedly shooting at officers on West Side, police say," 8 Sep. 2019 If someone disobeys the rules, Harris said, players will impose their own punishment workout. Los Angeles Times, "UCLA might play opener with true freshman Sean Rhyan at tackle," 22 Aug. 2019 The order stated that attorneys disobeying the order could be found in contempt of court. USA TODAY, "Moon rocks, Misty of Chincoteague, Haiku Stairs: News from around our 50 states," 28 June 2019 Joe Arpaio announced his 2020 campaign for Maricopa County sheriff Sunday on the anniversary of his pardon in 2017 from Mr. Trump on a misdemeanor contempt of court conviction for disobeying an order to stop immigration patrols. CBS News, ""America's Toughest Sheriff" Joe Arpaio running to reclaim his post in Arizona," 25 Aug. 2019 McFadden said her late single-parent mom forgave her for disobeying a no-Woodstock order. Paul Vercammen, CNN, "Drugs, dirt and hot German bikers: Two teens who ran away to Woodstock recall the adventure of a lifetime," 10 Aug. 2019

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about disobey

Statistics for disobey

Last Updated

27 Oct 2019

Time Traveler for disobey

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for disobey


How to pronounce disobey (audio)

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.

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on disobey

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for disobey

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with 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).


a calculated move

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Confusing Words—A Quiz

  • alice with tweedle dee and tweedle dum
  • I invented a brand new toaster robot and ______ it "Sir Toasts-a-Lot."
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Dictionary Devil

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!