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obey

[oh-bey]
See more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
verb (used with object)
  1. to comply with or follow the commands, restrictions, wishes, or instructions of: to obey one's parents.
  2. to comply with or follow (a command, restriction, wish, instruction, etc.).
  3. (of things) to respond conformably in action to: The car obeyed the slightest touch of the steering wheel.
  4. to submit or conform in action to (some guiding principle, impulse, one's conscience, etc.).
verb (used without object)
  1. to be obedient: to agree to obey.

Origin of obey

1250–1300; Middle English obeien < Old French obeir < Latin oboedīre, equivalent to ob- ob- + audīre to hear; -oe- for expected -ū- is unclear
Related formso·bey·a·ble, adjectiveo·bey·er, nouno·bey·ing·ly, adverbun·o·beyed, adjectiveun·o·bey·ing, adjectivewell-o·beyed, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for obeyed

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • He felt that a crisis had come, and he was determined to be obeyed.

    Brave and Bold

    Horatio Alger

  • The mandate was obeyed, and Bates was lodged in the forecastle, securely ironed.

    Brave and Bold

    Horatio Alger

  • The captain moved among them, and his orders were obeyed, but not with alacrity.

    Brave and Bold

    Horatio Alger

  • They called him a King or a prince and obeyed his orders for their own common benefit.

    Ancient Man

    Hendrik Willem van Loon

  • But as Philip obeyed her words, he saw her move suddenly and stand by Emilia's side.

    Malbone

    Thomas Wentworth Higginson


British Dictionary definitions for obeyed

obey

verb
  1. to carry out (instructions or orders); comply with (demands)
  2. to behave or act in accordance with (one's feelings, whims, etc)
Derived Formsobeyer, noun

Word Origin

C13: from Old French obéir, from Latin oboedīre, from ob- to, towards + audīre to hear
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

Word Origin and History for obeyed

obey

v.

late 13c., from Old French obeir "obey, be obedient, do one's duty" (12c.), from Latin obedire, oboedire "obey, be subject, serve; pay attention to, give ear," literally "listen to," from ob "to" (see ob-) + audire "listen, hear" (see audience). Same sense development is in cognate Old English hiersumnian. Related: Obeyed; obeying.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

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