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[oh-bee-dee-uh ns] /oʊˈbi di əns/
the state or quality of being obedient.
the act or practice of obeying; dutiful or submissive compliance:
Military service demands obedience from its members.
a sphere of authority or jurisdiction, especially ecclesiastical.
Chiefly Ecclesiastical.
  1. conformity to a monastic rule or the authority of a religious superior, especially on the part of one who has vowed such conformance.
  2. the rule or authority that exacts such conformance.
Origin of obedience
1150-1200; Middle English < Old French < Latin oboedientia. See obedient, -ence
Related forms
overobedience, noun
preobedience, noun
superobedience, noun
2. submission, subservience, deference. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for obedience
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • "Unless it should be his gracious pleasure to dispense with obedience," replied Artaphernes.

    Philothea Lydia Maria Child
  • In a republic the first rule for the guidance of the citizen is obedience to law.

  • He had acted "in obedience to the clear and imperious call of public obligation."

    The Grand Old Man Richard B. Cook
  • obedience has regard to the will of a ruler, not to necessity and truth.

  • She had wept only in the struggle of obedience and the renunciation of passion.

    The Dream Emile Zola
British Dictionary definitions for obedience


the condition or quality of being obedient
the act or an instance of obeying; dutiful or submissive behaviour
the authority vested in a Church or similar body
the collective group of persons submitting to this authority See also passive obedience
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 obedience

c.1200, "submission to a higher power or authority," from Old French obedience "obedience, submission" (12c.) and directly from Latin oboedientia "obedience," noun of quality from oboedientem (nominative oboediens); see obedient. In reference to dog training from 1930.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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