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 formsdis·o·bey·er, noun

Synonyms for disobey

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for disobey

Contemporary Examples of disobey

Historical Examples of disobey

  • It is ever thus, when we disobey the gods, to please mortals.


    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.

British Dictionary definitions for disobey



to neglect or refuse to obey (someone, an order, etc)
Derived Formsdisobeyer, 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

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