obey

verb
\ ō-ˈbā How to pronounce obey (audio) , ə- \
obeyed; obeying

Definition of obey

transitive verb

1 : to follow the commands or guidance of He always obeys his parents.
2 : to conform to or comply with obey an order Falling objects obey the laws of physics.

intransitive verb

: to behave obediently The dog does not always obey.

Other Words from obey

obeyer noun

Examples of obey in a Sentence

His dog has learned to obey several commands. He always obeys his parents. The children must obey the rules. The children must learn to obey.
Recent Examples on the Web Intriguingly, while the amplituhedron gives answers that obey unitarity, the principle isn’t used to construct the shape itself. Charlie Wood, Quanta Magazine, 26 Sep. 2022 Tony Daunt, a Republican who had voted against the proposal, last week said that the board would obey a court order. Joey Cappelletti, Sara Burnett And Ed White, Anchorage Daily News, 9 Sep. 2022 Ozuligbo also challenged her conviction, arguing that she should have been allowed to present evidence of Nigerian cultural norms that required her to obey her brother. Amy Yurkanin | Ayurkanin@al.com, al, 29 Aug. 2022 But until then, the city is simply encouraging drivers to slow down and obey traffic rules. Andrea Vacchiano, Fox News, 18 Aug. 2022 After sixty years in deep sleep, this perfect soldier with incredible physical strength, programmed to obey orders without question, is woken by Antonia. Naman Ramachandran, Variety, 17 Aug. 2022 Executives scrambled over subsequent months to obey, and resolve its stasis. Bloomberg.com, 30 June 2022 The Full Self-Driving feature costs $12,000 and purports to automatically pilot the car on freeways, city streets and neighborhood roads; automatically obey traffic signals; and roam a parking lot without a driver to park itself. Russ Mitchellstaff Writer, Los Angeles Times, 5 Aug. 2022 But here, unexpectedly, was a Nazi soldier, a lieutenant colonel no less, one who had commanded obedience, and was himself obliged to obey—to do what? Cynthia Ozick, The Atlantic, 3 Aug. 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'obey.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of obey

14th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

History and Etymology for obey

Middle English obeien, borrowed from Anglo-French obeir, going back to Latin oboedīre, from ob- "toward, in the direction of" + -oedīre, probably unstressed form (with -oe- of uncertain origin) of audīre "to hear" — more at ob-, audible entry 1

Note: The -oe- in oboedīre is peculiar both because it is not the expected result of -au- in a non-initial syllable (the regular outcome is -ū-) and because -oe- is in any case rare non-initially. Various attempts have been made to account for the irregularity. Reflecting earlier suggestions, Michiel de Vaan hypothesizes pre-Latin *ób-awizdijō > *obowizdijō > *oboizdijō (rounding of a before w, which is then lost, prior to the weakening of a to u) > oboediō (with z blocking monophthongization of -oi- to -ū- before succumbing to cluster reduction) (see Etymological Dictionary of Latin and the Other Italic Languages, Brill, 2008). As an alternative to assumptions of questionable phonetic change, it has also been suggested that a base other than audīre is at issue (Michael Weiss suggests *ob-bhoi̯diō, from a nominal derivative of the base of fīdere "to trust" [see faith entry 1]; see Outline of the Historical and Comparative Grammar of Latin, Ann Arbor, 2009, p. 120).

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Time Traveler for obey

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The first known use of obey was in the 14th century

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Dictionary Entries Near obey

obesogenic

obey

obeyable

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Last Updated

1 Oct 2022

Cite this Entry

“Obey.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/obey. Accessed 4 Oct. 2022.

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More Definitions for obey

obey

verb
\ ō-ˈbā How to pronounce obey (audio) \
obeyed; obeying

Kids Definition of obey

1 : to follow the commands or guidance of Dogs are trained to obey their masters.
2 : to comply with : carry out obey an order obey the rules

Choose the Right Synonym for obey

obey and mind mean to do what a person says. obey is used when someone quickly yields to the authority of another or follows a rule or law. Obey your parents. Obey all traffic laws. mind is used like obey especially when speaking to children but it often means paying attention to the wishes or commands of another. Mind what I said about talking.

More from Merriam-Webster on obey

Nglish: Translation of obey for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of obey for Arabic Speakers

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