obe·​di·​ent | \ ō-ˈbē-dē-ənt How to pronounce obedient (audio) , 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 Some regard her as a privileged elitist who favored a strictly hierarchical approach to nursing, opposed higher education for nurses and wanted them to remain devout, chaste and obedient. Tina Hillier, Smithsonian Magazine, "The Defiance of Florence Nightingale," 20 Feb. 2020 This underlying structure, to which nature itself is at once oblivious and obedient, belongs quite as much to mysticism as to mathematics. Karl Ove Knausgaard, The New Yorker, "The Slowness of Literature and the Shadow of Knowledge," 6 Nov. 2019 The wary and vicious wolf becomes the friendly and obedient dog. John Morrissey, Quartz, "A chance encounter between a fruit fly and a pail of milk gave us cheese," 11 Dec. 2019 Ephraim is wary at first, then obedient, then angry; what does all this busywork serve, other than Thomas’s own ego? Leah Greenblatt, EW.com, "Robert Pattinson and Willem Dafoe dance macabre in masterful drama The Lighthouse," 17 Oct. 2019 But the dreams also depict women—reduced to obedient wives and child-bearers in Nazi propaganda—seeking greater social authority. Mireille Juchau, The New Yorker, "How Dreams Change Under Authoritarianism," 7 Nov. 2019 We are told its launch is imminent, but who, other than the most obedient servants, is anticipating this with excitement? James Macmillan, National Review, "Scottish Nationalists Are Hijacking Music to Push an Independence Agenda," 29 Oct. 2019 Under Erdogan, Turkey is no longer the obedient NATO ally guarding the alliance's southern flank against Russian expansionism. Tim Lister, CNN, "No longer the obedient NATO ally, Erdogan floats nuclear option," 21 Oct. 2019 The sequel employs three narrators, most notably, Aunt Lydia, a matriarchal tyrant who trains women to be obedient and passive handmaids. Ron Charles, Washington Post, "Margaret Atwood and Bernardine Evaristo share the 2019 Booker Prize," 14 Oct. 2019

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, borrowed from Anglo-French & Latin; Anglo-French, borrowed from Latin oboedient-, oboediens, from present participle of oboedīre "to follow the commands of, submit to" — more at obey

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Time Traveler for obedient

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for obedient

Last Updated

17 Mar 2020

Cite this Entry

“Obedient.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/obedient. Accessed 7 Apr. 2020.

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More Definitions for obedient


How to pronounce obedient (audio)

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 How to pronounce obedient (audio) \

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

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