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

What Locke found intolerable was not Catholic theology per se but rather the agents of political subversion operating under the guise of religious obedience. Joseph Loconte, National Review, "The Need for a Revival of Lockean Liberalism," 11 Sep. 2019 During their training period, the dogs learn obedience and social skills and special service behaviors attuned to the needs of children on the spectrum. Pam Kragen, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Autism companion dogs ‘graduate’ into service," 28 Aug. 2019 The issues encompass sacred texts about pain and suffering, obedience to religious and governmental laws, and social justice questions about who must pay a criminal price and who may turn a profit. Kristin E. Holmes, chicagotribune.com, "Religious communities consider how much faith to put in marijuana," 26 Aug. 2019 Fear is stronger than love when your entire existence relies on obedience. Amber Scorah, BostonGlobe.com, "Losing my religion," 8 Aug. 2019 Events include agility, conformation, go-to-ground, obedience, racing, and trailing and locating. Gabrielle Copeland Schoeffield, baltimoresun.com/maryland/carroll, "Taneytown Terrier Trials bring ‘great little’ dogs — 188 of them — to Carroll County," 18 July 2019 Jesuits also take the three traditional vows of poverty, chastity and obedience, plus a fourth vow that says Jesuits must accept whatever mission the Pope requires. Andrew Clark, Indianapolis Star, "Brebeuf Jesuit Indianapolis controversy: What are Jesuits?," 20 June 2019 Fascists used to be distinguished by their penchant for obedience, submission, and self-erasure, with the power of public emotional expression reserved for the dictator. Fred Turner, Harper's magazine, "Machine Politics," 10 Jan. 2019 The Byrds gave sermons about submission, obedience. Leah Sottile, Longreads, "Chapter Five: The Remnant," 20 July 2019

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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Dictionary Entries near obedience


obeah man






Statistics for obedience

Last Updated

15 Sep 2019

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Time Traveler for obedience

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

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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

What made you want to look up obedience? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


formidable, illustrious, or eminent

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