[ oh-bey-suhns, oh-bee- ]
See synonyms for: obeisanceobeisant on Thesaurus.com

  1. a movement of the body expressing deep respect or deferential courtesy, as before a superior; a bow, curtsy, or other similar gesture.

  2. 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

Other words from obeisance

  • o·bei·sant, adjective
  • o·bei·sant·ly, adverb

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use obeisance in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for obeisance


/ (əʊˈbeɪsəns, əʊˈbiː-) /

  1. an attitude of deference or homage

  2. a gesture expressing obeisance

Origin of obeisance

C14: from Old French obéissant, present participle of obéir to obey

Derived forms of obeisance

  • obeisant, adjective
  • obeisantly, adverb

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