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[dis-uh-bee-dee-uh nt] /ˌdɪs əˈbi di ənt/
neglecting or refusing to obey; not submitting; refractory.
Origin of disobedient
late Middle English
1400-50; late Middle English < Old French desobedient, equivalent to des- dis-1 + obedient obedient
Related forms
disobediently, adverb
insubordinate, contumacious, defiant, rebellious, unsubmissive, uncompliant.
obedient. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for disobedient
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • One whom we are commanded to love as ourselves, and who does all he knows how to make us disobedient.

    The Devil's Dictionary Ambrose Bierce
  • Can I be ungrateful, disobedient to him who was a father to me?

    Alice, or The Mysteries, Complete Edward Bulwer-Lytton
  • There is strife between the Blessed and the Damned; the obedient and the disobedient.

    The First Violin Jessie Fothergill
  • He whom she thought so disobedient had obeyed but too well at last.

    His Masterpiece Emile Zola
  • To disobedient ones I can assure you that we are not half so merciful.

    The Shame of Motley Raphael Sabatini
  • James was a refractory and disobedient child from the very cradle.

    An Old Sailor's Yarns Nathaniel Ames
  • Do drop it if you do not wish to drive me mad or make me disobedient.

    Shoulder-Straps Henry Morford
British Dictionary definitions for disobedient


not obedient; neglecting or refusing to obey
Derived Forms
disobediently, adverb
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for disobedient

early 15c., dysobedyent, from Old French desobedient, from Vulgar Latin *disobedientem (replacing Latin inobedientem) from Latin dis- (see dis-) + obedientem (see obedient). Related: Disobediently. Earlier in the same sense was disobeissant (late 14c.), from Old French desobeissant, and inobedient (early 14c.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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