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

transitive verb

: to fail to obey
disobeyer noun

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.
Recent Examples on the Web The titular pig in this British series is often disobeying her parents, displaying selfish behavior and fighting. Kelly Lawler, USA TODAY, 8 July 2024 The remainder involve reports of autonomous cars blocking traffic and disobeying road markings or traffic signals. Gerrit De Vynck, Washington Post, 7 July 2024 Cops later charged him with failure to yield to a pedestrian, disobeying a traffic device and failure to exercise due care. Thomas Tracy, New York Daily News, 17 Apr. 2024 Court records show he was arrested by troopers on charges of reckless driving, interfering with police and disobeying the signal of an officer, among other offenses. Justin Muszynski, Hartford Courant, 5 Apr. 2024 See all Example Sentences for disobey 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'disobey.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


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

First Known Use

14th century, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense

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

Dictionary Entries Near disobey

Cite this Entry

“Disobey.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/disobey. Accessed 19 Jul. 2024.

Kids Definition


dis·​obey ˌdis-ə-ˈbā How to pronounce disobey (audio)
: to refuse, neglect, or fail to obey

More from Merriam-Webster on disobey

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

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