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[dis-uh-bee-dee-uh nt] /ˌdɪs əˈbi di ənt/
neglecting or refusing to obey; not submitting; refractory.
Origin of disobedient
late Middle English
1400-50; late Middle English < Old French desobedient, equivalent to des- dis-1 + obedient obedient
Related forms
disobediently, adverb
insubordinate, contumacious, defiant, rebellious, unsubmissive, uncompliant.
obedient. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for disobedient
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Besides, if you were disobedient, you were well enough punished for it.

  • To disobedient ones I can assure you that we are not half so merciful.

    The Shame of Motley Raphael Sabatini
  • I have given you a home here but I have not given you license to be insolent or disobedient.

    Dorothy at Oak Knowe Evelyn Raymond
  • James was a refractory and disobedient child from the very cradle.

    An Old Sailor's Yarns Nathaniel Ames
  • Conceited, vain, and disobedient, he afterwards came near wrecking the cause which he had ambitiously embraced.

  • He had no twin, a disobedient soldier, a liar and betrayer, as it was said he had.'

    The Long Roll Mary Johnston
  • To threaten a disobedient servant with the jambok—be he Hottentot, Fingo, or Caffre—is to bring him back to kneeling obeisance.

    The Vee-Boers Mayne Reid
British Dictionary definitions for disobedient


not obedient; neglecting or refusing to obey
Derived Forms
disobediently, 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
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Word Origin and History for disobedient

early 15c., dysobedyent, from Old French desobedient, from Vulgar Latin *disobedientem (replacing Latin inobedientem) from Latin dis- (see dis-) + obedientem (see obedient). Related: Disobediently. Earlier in the same sense was disobeissant (late 14c.), from Old French desobeissant, and inobedient (early 14c.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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