[oh-bey-suhns, oh-bee-]
a movement of the body expressing deep respect or deferential courtesy, as before a superior; a bow, curtsy, or other similar gesture.
deference or homage: The nobles gave obeisance to the new king.

1325–75; Middle English obeisaunce < Middle French obeissance, derivative of Old French obeissant, present participle of obeir to obey; see -ance

obeisant, adjective
obeisantly, adverb
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
obeisance (əʊˈbeɪsəns, əʊˈbiː-)
1.  an attitude of deference or homage
2.  a gesture expressing obeisance
[C14: from Old French obéissant, present participle of obéir to obey]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin & History

late 14c., "act or fact of obeying," from O.Fr. obeissance "obedience," from obeissant, prp. of obeir "obey," from L. oboedire (see obey). Sense in Eng. alt. late 14c. to "bending or prostration of the body as a gesture of submission or respect" by confusion with abaisance.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Bible Dictionary

Obeisance definition

homage or reverence to any one (Gen. 37:7; 43:28).

Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary
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Example sentences
Then she did him obeisance, and stood respectfully at one side.
Even if this were only a ritual expression of obeisance, it would stand in contrast to his customarily belligerent behavior.
Actually, with its disappointments and shortcomings, it is more of an obeisance to television.
Filling up the shoeboxes can be a lot more fun than mere obeisance to the orderliness imposed by others.
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