Word of the DayWednesday, October 13, 2004
\oh-BEE-suhn(t)s; oh-BAY-suhn(t)s\ , noun;
An expression of deference or respect, such as a bow or curtsy.
They made obeisance right to the floor, coiling like bright snakes from the arms of their astonished handlers.
-- Ann Wroe, Pontius Pilate
His presence was betrayed to Milo, who ordered his execution and then sent his rival's head to the Sultan to demonstrate his obeisance.
-- Misha Glenny, The Balkans
In all, it had served to create a highly restrictive societywhere the arrogance of superiors was as ingrained as their subordinates'fawning obeisance.
-- Robert Whiting, Tokyo Underworld
Obeisance comes from Old French obeissance, from obeissant, present participle of obeir, to obey, from Latin oboedire, to listen to, from ob-, to + audire, to hear. The adjective form is obeisant.
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