View synonyms for obey


[ oh-bey ]

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.


/ əˈbeɪ /


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

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Derived Forms

  • oˈbeyer, noun

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Other Words From

  • o·beya·ble adjective
  • o·beyer noun
  • o·beying·ly adverb
  • uno·beyed adjective
  • uno·beying adjective
  • well-o·beyed adjective

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Word History and Origins

Origin of obey1

First recorded in 1250–1300; Middle English obeien, from Old French obeir, from Latin oboedīre, equivalent to ob- ob- + audīre “to hear”; -oe- for expected -ū- is unclear

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Word History and Origins

Origin of obey1

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

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Example Sentences

She agreed several times that “no one is above the law,” but she warned that the Supreme Court has no real recourse to ensure that people, including the president, obeyed its orders.

“The Supreme Court can’t control what the president obeys,” she said flatly.

If they obey and seem comfortable, there’s a good chance your pup will survive the day without you.

They provide continuous information, so that the population can have real-time updates, and then believe in the government and strictly obey all their guidelines.

The strong force operating between quarks obeys very complicated rules—so complicated, in fact, that usually the only way to calculate its effects is to use approximations and supercomputers.

Those advocating justice should first obey the rule of law themselves.

This argument is vital to a larger argument: Do we obey the rules set up to constrain government or not?

THE DISHONOR OF HONOR KILLINGS Imagine a young woman killed by her own relatives for failing to obey.

No soldier is obliged to obey a law contrary to the law of God.

I continue to live here, work here, pay the taxes and obey the law.

The sepoys refused to obey, and the sowars, drawing their pistols, shot dead or severely wounded six British officers.

At the Flagstaff Tower the 74th and the remainder of the 38th suddenly told their officers that they would obey them no longer.

He felt very sorry for the Temecula people, the sheriff did; but he had to obey the law himself.

He understood, and would obey; but his eyes followed her wistfully till she disappeared from sight.

When he was only three years old the huge creature would obey him and allow him to drive anywhere he pleased.


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