obedience

noun

obe·​di·​ence ō-ˈbē-dē-ən(t)s How to pronounce obedience (audio)
ə-
1
a
: an act or instance of obeying
b
: the quality or state of being obedient
Children should learn obedience and respect for authority.
2
: a sphere of jurisdiction
landowners within the king's obedience
especially : an ecclesiastical or sometimes secular dominion
under the obedience of the Bishop of Rome

Examples of obedience in a Sentence

the drill sergeant demanded complete and unquestioning obedience from the recruits the cowardly obedience with which the dictator's henchmen followed his every command
Recent Examples on the Web Dogs and humans must start with an obedience class or skip a grade and go for an evaluation to be allowed to sign up for group activities. Melissa Kravitz Hoeffner, Forbes, 15 Feb. 2024 The presiding judge had sworn an oath of obedience to the marshal as head of state in 1941, as had every magistrate in France except one. Robert O. Paxton, Harper's Magazine, 17 Dec. 2023 Family loyalties and local patronage were often more important than obedience to the central state. Ian Buruma, The New Yorker, 25 Sep. 2023 Today, the bratva enforce obedience primarily by controlling inmates’ social status. Oleg Matsnev Gray Beltran, New York Times, 4 Dec. 2023 The act of defiance eventually forces him to choose between obedience and liberation. Holly Jones, Variety, 30 Oct. 2023 Perfect obedience is impossible, but violation nonetheless results in pain and punishment. Kristen Roupenian, The New Yorker, 16 Oct. 2023 Authoritarian The authoritarian style of parenting focuses on strict rules, obedience, and discipline. Lauren Pardee, Parents, 17 Aug. 2023 Over the last few seasons, after the FBI took to sticking her in cars but ignoring her soulful attempts at a personal connection, her loyalties became convoluted, a toy chemistry set potion of fear, love, denial and good-girl obedience. Carlos De Loera, Los Angeles Times, 25 Aug. 2023 See More

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

Word History

Etymology

Middle English, borrowed from Anglo-French, borrowed from Latin oboedientia "act of obeying" (Medieval Latin also, "sphere of jurisdiction"), noun derivative of oboedient-, oboedient obedient

First Known Use

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Time Traveler
The first known use of obedience was in the 13th century

Dictionary Entries Near obedience

Cite this Entry

“Obedience.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/obedience. Accessed 28 Feb. 2024.

Kids Definition

obedience

noun
obe·​di·​ence ō-ˈbēd-ē-ən(t)s How to pronounce obedience (audio)
ə-
1
: an act or instance of obeying
2
: the quality or state of being obedient

More from Merriam-Webster on obedience

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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