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[oh-bee-dee-uh ns] /oʊˈbi di əns/
the state or quality of being obedient.
the act or practice of obeying; dutiful or submissive compliance:
Military service demands obedience from its members.
a sphere of authority or jurisdiction, especially ecclesiastical.
Chiefly Ecclesiastical.
  1. conformity to a monastic rule or the authority of a religious superior, especially on the part of one who has vowed such conformance.
  2. the rule or authority that exacts such conformance.
Origin of obedience
1150-1200; Middle English < Old French < Latin oboedientia. See obedient, -ence
Related forms
overobedience, noun
preobedience, noun
superobedience, noun
2. submission, subservience, deference. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for obedience
  • obedience is given to those who, in their hierarchical roles, demand it.
  • Traditional armies drill unquestioning obedience into their grunts.
  • The dogs must be mild mannered, know basic obedience commands, and enjoy meeting new people.
  • Dogs may be able to understand far more words than a typical owner teaches them during obedience training.
  • Fashion called for more severely plain designs than had been in vogue, and the designers had to give her a blind obedience.
  • obedience and training centers will replace community college curriculums.
  • It marked a breach in the structure of willing obedience that, once made, could only widen.
  • Nicole also works part time as dog trainer, teaching basic obedience.
  • If that's the stick then the carrot is the reward of eternal bliss in exchange for absolute obedience.
  • As my isolation increased, so did my worry that my obedience would not be rewarded with a tenure-track job.
British Dictionary definitions for obedience


the condition or quality of being obedient
the act or an instance of obeying; dutiful or submissive behaviour
the authority vested in a Church or similar body
the collective group of persons submitting to this authority See also passive obedience
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 obedience

c.1200, "submission to a higher power or authority," from Old French obedience "obedience, submission" (12c.) and directly from Latin oboedientia "obedience," noun of quality from oboedientem (nominative oboediens); see obedient. In reference to dog training from 1930.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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