Try Our Apps


The Best Internet Slang


[oh-bey-suh ns, oh-bee-] /oʊˈbeɪ səns, oʊˈbi-/
a movement of the body expressing deep respect or deferential courtesy, as before a superior; a bow, curtsy, or other similar gesture.
deference or homage:
The nobles gave obeisance to the new king.
Origin of obeisance
1325-75; Middle English obeisaunce < Middle French obeissance, derivative of Old French obeissant, present participle of obeir to obey; see -ance
Related forms
obeisant, adjective
obeisantly, adverb Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for obeisance
Historical Examples
British Dictionary definitions for obeisance


/əʊˈbeɪsəns; əʊˈbiː-/
an attitude of deference or homage
a gesture expressing obeisance
Derived Forms
obeisant, adjective
obeisantly, adverb
Word Origin
C14: from Old French obéissant, present participle of obéir to obey
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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for obeisance

late 14c., "act or fact of obeying," from Old French obeissance "obedience, service, feudal duty" (13c.), from obeissant, present participle of obeir "obey," from Latin oboedire (see obey). Sense in English altered late 14c. to "bending or prostration of the body as a gesture of submission or respect" by confusion with abaisance. Related: Obeisant.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for obeisance

Some English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for obeisance

Scrabble Words With Friends

Nearby words for obeisance