obe·​di·​ence | \ ō-ˈbē-dē-ən(t)s How to pronounce obedience (audio) , ə- \

Definition of obedience

1a : 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

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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 The hostility is even greater now that these views have been adopted implicitly and unavowedly almost everywhere in obedience to the reality principle. WSJ, "The Slow Birth of Covid Realism," 29 Dec. 2020 Other scholars were calling for a revival of Confucianism, a philosophy that advocates strict obedience to social hierarchy. Jeremy Page, WSJ, "How the U.S. Misread China’s Xi: Hoping for a Globalist, It Got an Autocrat," 23 Dec. 2020 But McKinley kept utterly silent about the coup, in obedience to states’ rights; a cursory Justice Department investigation went nowhere. David W. Blight, The New York Review of Books, "An American Pogrom," 3 Nov. 2020 Whether their work involves basic obedience or complex training concepts, handlers focus to ensure success. Brian Lynn, Outdoor Life, "Training, Conditioning and Feeding for Success," 21 Sep. 2020 But even that wall of obedience among mainstream Republicans appears to be cracking. Rey Mashayekhi, Fortune, "Blackstone’s Schwarzman becomes latest Trump ally to throw in the towel, acknowledge Biden’s win," 23 Nov. 2020 Like a lot of writers, Mank is intuitively anti-establishment, and his Hollywood-insider years are depicted as a time of steadily mounting disillusionment with his colleagues’ unswerving obedience to the GOP. Justin Chang Film Critic, Los Angeles Times, "Review: ‘Mank’ is a gorgeous dive into film history — and a sharp reflection on our political present," 6 Nov. 2020 The annual event, presented by the American Kennel Club and Royal Canin, features thousands of dogs and handlers participating in events ranging from dock diving to agility to obedience to conformation. Patrick Connolly, orlandosentinel.com, "AKC National Championship dog show returns in December without spectators," 3 Nov. 2020 Adherents included millionaires and Hollywood actresses willing to endure humiliation and pledge obedience to the defendant as part of his teachings. Arkansas Online, "NXIVM head Keith Raniere sentenced to 120 years in prison," 27 Oct. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'obedience.' 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 obedience

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

History and Etymology for obedience

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

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Time Traveler for obedience

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for obedience

Last Updated

24 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Obedience.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/obedience. Accessed 26 Jan. 2021.

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More Definitions for obedience


obe·​di·​ence | \ ō-ˈbē-dē-əns How to pronounce obedience (audio) \

Kids Definition of obedience

: the act of obeying : willingness to obey

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Comments on obedience

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