[ 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

o·bei·sant, adjectiveo·bei·sant·ly, adverb
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for obeisance

British Dictionary definitions for obeisance


/ (əʊˈbeɪsəns, əʊˈbiː-) /


an attitude of deference or homage
a gesture expressing obeisance

Derived Forms

obeisant, adjectiveobeisantly, adverb

Word Origin for obeisance

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