Dictionary > English Dictionary > Definition, synonym and antonym of obey
Meaning of obey by Wiktionary Dictionary



    From Anglo-Norman obeir, obeier et al., Old French obeir, from Latin oboedire ( also obēdīre ( “to listen to, harken, usually in extended sense, obey, be subject to, serve” ) ), from ob- ( “before, near” ) + audīre ( “to hear” ). Compare audient .


    • Rhymes: -eɪ


    obey ( third-person singular simple present obeys present participle obeying, simple past and past participle obeyed )

    1. ( transitive ) To do as ordered by ( a person, institution etc ), to act according to the bidding of .
    2. ( intransitive ) To do as one is told .
    3. ( obsolete, intransitive ) To be obedient, compliant ( to a given law, restriction etc. ).


    Related terms

    External links

    • obey in Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary, G. & C. Merriam, 1913
    • obey in The Century Dictionary, The Century Co., New York, 1911

Explanation of obey by Wordnet Dictionary


    1. be obedient to

    Definition of obey by GCIDE Dictionary


    1. Obey v. t. [imp. & p. p. Obeyed ; p. pr. & vb. n. Obeying.] [OE. obeyen, F. obéir, fr. L. obedire, oboedire; ob ( see Ob- ) + audire to hear. See Audible, and cf. Obeisance.]
      1. To give ear to; to execute the commands of; to yield submission to; to comply with the orders of.

      Children, obey your parents in the Lord. Eph. vi. 1.

      Was she the God, that her thou didst obey? Milton.

      2. To submit to the authority of; to be ruled by.

      My will obeyed his will. Chaucer.

      Afric and India shall his power obey. Dryden.

      3. To yield to the impulse, power, or operation of; as, “a ship obeys her helm”.

    2. Obey, v. i. To give obedience.

      Will he obey when one commands? Tennyson.

      ☞ By some old writers obey was used, as in the French idiom, with the preposition to.

      His servants ye are, to whom ye obey. Rom. vi. 16.

      He commanded the trumpets to sound: to which the two brave knights obeying, they performed their courses. Sir. P. Sidney.