Definition of obedience in English:

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Pronunciation: /əˈbiːdɪəns/


[mass noun]
1Compliance with an order, request, or law or submission to another’s authority: children were taught to show their parents obedience obedience to moral standards
More example sentences
  • But his blind obedience to duty and authority leads to a moral failure to rebel against Ahab, and because duty wins, he dooms both himself and the ship to its fate.
  • Particularly significant is the power of certain types of organization to condition the behaviour of their members, especially in habituating them to obedience to authority.
  • He was fascinated by behavioural patterns and society's obedience to authority and New Yorkers were doubtless delighted when his research revealed them to be so obliging.
compliance, acquiescence, tractability, tractableness, amenability;
dutifulness, deference, duty, respect, respectfulness, observance of the law/rules, discipline, biddableness, duteousness;
malleability, pliability, conformity, conformance, conformability, submissiveness, submission, docility, tameness, meekness, passivity, passiveness, subservience, obsequiousness, servility
1.1Observance of a monastic rule: vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience
More example sentences
  • It is out of the Benedictine, or monastic, tradition of obedience that I formed my decision.
  • They took vows of chastity and poverty, and if part of a monastic community, obedience to the abbot.
  • But even monastic women, after taking the vows of chastity, obedience and poverty, could not he cleansed of the stigma of Eve.


in obedience to

In accordance with: he was acting in obedience to his conscience
More example sentences
  • Australia assumes a comprehensive jurisdiction over its own ships in obedience to, or at least in conformity with, the general body of international law, which is codified in that Convention.
  • Your Honour, in obedience to requests made to me informally by the Registrar, I invite your Honour to certify for counsel.
  • ‘This is a significant step forward and continues a process which could well change the face of English Christianity - which would be in obedience to God's gift and calling,’ he said.


Middle English: via Old French from Latin oboedientia, from the verb oboedire (see obey).

Words that rhyme with obedience

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