• To do as ordered by (a person, institution etc), to act according to the bidding of.
  • To do as one is told.
  • To be obedient, compliant (to a given law, restriction etc.).


Similar words

Opposite words


  • From Middle English obeyen, from Anglo-Norman obeir, obeier et al., Old French obeir, from Latin oboediō (also obēdiō), from ob- + audiō. Compare audient. In Latin, ob + audire would have been expected to become Classical Latin *obūdiō (compare in + claudō becoming inclūdō), but it has been theorized that the usual law court associations of the word for obeying encouraged a false archaism from ū to oe, to oboediō (compare Old Latin oinos → Classical Latin ūnus).

Modern English dictionary

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