English edit

Etymology edit

From Middle English obeyen, from Anglo-Norman obeir, obeier et al., Old French obeir, from Latin oboediō (also obēdiō (to listen to, harken, usually in extended sense, obey, be subject to, serve)), from ob- (before, near) + audiō (to hear). Compare audient. In Latin, ob + audire would have been expected to become Classical Latin *obūdiō (compare in + claudō becoming inclūdō), but it has been theorized that the usual law court associations of the word for obeying encouraged a false archaism from ū to oe, to oboediō (compare Old Latin oinos → Classical Latin ūnus).[1]

Pronunciation edit

Verb edit

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.
    obey the rules
    obey your boss
  2. (intransitive) To do as one is told.
    Soldiers are trained to obey.
  3. (obsolete, intransitive) To be obedient, compliant (to a given law, restriction etc.).

Synonyms edit

Antonyms edit

Derived terms edit

Related terms edit

Translations edit

Further reading edit

References edit

  1. ^ page 220, The Latin Language by L.R.Palmer (→ISBN, →ISBN), and online at this link.

Anagrams edit