obe·​di·​ent | \ō-ˈbē-dē-ənt, ə-\

Definition of obedient 

: submissive to the restraint or command of authority : willing to obey an obedient child an obedient dog obedient to those whom he feared— A. N. Wilson

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Other Words from obedient

obediently adverb

Choose the Right Synonym for obedient

obedient, docile, tractable, amenable mean submissive to the will of another. obedient implies compliance with the demands or requests of one in authority. obedient to the government docile implies a predisposition to submit readily to control or guidance. a docile child tractable suggests having a character that permits easy handling or managing. tractable animals amenable suggests a willingness to yield or cooperate because of a desire to be agreeable or because of a natural open-mindedness. amenable to new ideas

Examples of obedient in a Sentence

that boy is so obedient that he does everything the first time he is asked

Recent Examples on the Web

But the president has all but won his monthslong battle with the country’s rail unions — Parliament passed his big trains initiative this week — and his majority in the National Assembly continues to be obedient. Adam Nossiter, New York Times, "Let Them Eat on Fancy Plates: Emmanuel Macron’s New China," 14 June 2018 Not many would have expected this young Pole to become the successor to Peter, but his example speaks to all of us… a life inspired by faith and obedient to service, can change the course of history. Jamie Ducharme, Time, "Betsy DeVos Urges Ave Maria Grads to 'Embrace the Mess': Read the Full Text of Education Secretary's Commencement Speech," 5 May 2018 There can be fun in that but not much impact because real characters aren’t so obedient. Jesse Green, New York Times, "Review: Alpha Male Romantic Problems in ‘Devil of Choice’," 28 May 2018 Above all, Fred wants to be a patriarch, the undeterred king of a household of obedient and loving women. Kelly Lawler, USA TODAY, "'The Handmaid's Tale' Season 2 finale recap: The fight finally begins," 11 July 2018 And the notion that Islam can provide all the answers has hit a dead end, whether in the form of strict but obedient Saudi salafism, the political Islam of the Muslim Brotherhood or the murderous jihadism of al-Qaeda and Islamic State. The Economist, "Waiting for the backlashCan Muhammad bin Salman’s gamble work?," 21 June 2018 The collective, obedient boogey-ing that followed cracked me up. Jenny Mccoy, SELF, "I Did a Live Online Group Fitness Class With a Celebrity Trainer—Here’s What It Was Like," 9 July 2018 Dehlin, whose psychology Ph.D. dissertation is about LGBTQ LDS people, knew that obedient gay Mormons had a low quality of life. Sarah Scoles, Longreads, "Meet the New Mormons," 8 June 2018 My son’s family has a dog of their own (a very obedient animal) and didn’t want to add to their little boy’s trauma. Amy Dickinson, chicagotribune.com, "Dog bite seems to hurt the whole family," 6 May 2018

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

13th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for obedient

Middle English, from Anglo-French, from Latin oboedient-, oboediens, from present participle of oboedire to obey

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Statistics for obedient

Last Updated

14 Oct 2018

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Time Traveler for obedient

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

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More Definitions for obedient



English Language Learners Definition of obedient

: willing to do what someone tells you to do or to follow a law, rule, etc. : willing to obey


obe·​di·​ent | \ō-ˈbē-dē-ənt \

Kids Definition of obedient

: willing to do as told by someone in authority : willing to obey

Other Words from obedient

obediently adverb

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Comments on obedient

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


by force of circumstances

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