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[dis-uh-bey] /ˌdɪs əˈbeɪ/
verb (used with or without object)
to neglect or refuse to obey.
Origin of disobey
1350-1400; Middle English disobeien < Old French desobeir, equivalent to des- dis-1 + obeir to obey
Related forms
disobeyer, noun
defy, disregard, resist, ignore, oppose. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for disobey
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • It is ever thus, when we disobey the gods, to please mortals.

    Philothea Lydia Maria Child
  • You do not know him; but I can tell you he is not a man to disobey as I have disobeyed him.

    The White Company Arthur Conan Doyle
  • But we insisted, especially Fenton; and he is difficult to disobey.

    It Happened in Egypt C. N. Williamson
  • He no more dared to disobey him than he could have disobeyed the head-master.

    The Channings Mrs. Henry Wood
  • "disobey those orders and take in my card," said the Princess.

  • He was angry and scolded them, saying: “Why did you disobey my command?”

British Dictionary definitions for disobey


to neglect or refuse to obey (someone, an order, etc)
Derived Forms
disobeyer, noun
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 disobey

late 14c., from Old French desobeir (13c.) "disobey; refuse service or homage," from Vulgar Latin *disoboedire, reformed with dis- from Late Latin inobedire, a back-formation from inobediens "not obeying," from Latin in- "not" + present participle of obedire (see obey). Related: Disobeyed; disobeying.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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