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 Members of both parties have shown to disobey coronavirus health protocols. Christopher Brito, CBS News, "Viral video shows Republican club members dancing in a conga line at maskless holiday party in New York City," 22 Dec. 2020 If, by chance, the Supreme Court upholds an unjust law, student-athletes are obligated to disobey. Los Angeles Times, "Column: If Supreme Court rules against NCAA athlete compensation, the fight must not end," 20 Dec. 2020 When individuals inevitably question, disregard, or disobey the commands of science, they are censored, stigmatized, condescended to, or punished. Matthew Continetti, National Review, "The Next Populist Revolt," 31 Oct. 2020 Around 2016, Fuhrer became concerned that other members would disobey the rules while he was incarcerated, the indictment said. Tess Williams, Anchorage Daily News, "2 Alaskans charged in violent crimes connected to white supremacist prison gang, U.S. Attorney says," 29 Oct. 2020 There were always doctors who would disobey the law. Emma Hinchliffe, Fortune, "Gloria Steinem: ‘I’ve never seen this much activism in my life’," 26 Oct. 2020 Students who disobey rules prohibiting large gatherings, for example, face potential discipline, including expulsion. oregonlive, "Coronavirus outbreaks hit California colleges despite intense preparation," 8 Oct. 2020 Mercedes Fortune previously told The Arizona Republic that the department did not have the manpower to block traffic at protests for the rest of the year and was working to arrest people who purposefully disobey police orders. Helen Wieffering, The Arizona Republic, "Despite dust storm, small group protests outside Phoenix police headquarters," 17 Aug. 2020 For much of the pandemic, officials have shied away from fining those who disobey restrictions put in place to try to reduce COVID-19 — opting instead to persuade residents to fall in line voluntarily. Joshua Fechter, ExpressNews.com, "Few citations made for not wearing masks in San Antonio, Bexar County as novel coronavirus spikes," 30 July 2020

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

8 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Disobey.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/disobey. Accessed 23 Jan. 2021.

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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.

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Comments on disobey

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