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obey

[oh-bey] /oʊˈbeɪ/
verb (used with object)
1.
to comply with or follow the commands, restrictions, wishes, or instructions of:
to obey one's parents.
2.
to comply with or follow (a command, restriction, wish, instruction, etc.).
3.
(of things) to respond conformably in action to:
The car obeyed the slightest touch of the steering wheel.
4.
to submit or conform in action to (some guiding principle, impulse, one's conscience, etc.).
verb (used without object)
5.
to be obedient:
to agree to obey.
Origin
1250-1300
1250-1300; Middle English obeien < Old French obeir < Latin oboedīre, equivalent to ob- ob- + audīre to hear; -oe- for expected -ū- is unclear
Related forms
obeyable, adjective
obeyer, noun
obeyingly, adverb
unobeyed, adjective
unobeying, adjective
well-obeyed, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for obey
  • Others have attacked her for picking and choosing which laws she will and will not obey.
  • Regional governors must obey federal law or risk dismissal.
  • King believed that peaceful refusal to obey unjust law was the best way to bring about social change.
  • If the hospital and care givers won't obey it, they must inform the patient.
  • My brain wouldn't obey me, nor my parents or my teachers.
  • Different species obey different internal and external signals that cue their migration.
  • The good folks don't need laws and the bad one's won't obey them anyway.
  • For that reason, hypermilers scrupulously obey the speed limit.
  • Max's willingness to obey the order is what does that.
  • He is clearly on the side of the foot-soldier trying to obey demanding superiors.
British Dictionary definitions for obey

obey

/əˈbeɪ/
verb
1.
to carry out (instructions or orders); comply with (demands)
2.
to behave or act in accordance with (one's feelings, whims, etc)
Derived Forms
obeyer, noun
Word Origin
C13: from Old French obéir, from Latin oboedīre, from ob- to, towards + audīre to hear
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 obey
v.

late 13c., from Old French obeir "obey, be obedient, do one's duty" (12c.), from Latin obedire, oboedire "obey, be subject, serve; pay attention to, give ear," literally "listen to," from ob "to" (see ob-) + audire "listen, hear" (see audience). Same sense development is in cognate Old English hiersumnian. Related: Obeyed; obeying.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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