obey

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English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

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.

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.
  2. (intransitive) To do as one is told.
  3. (obsolete, intransitive) To be obedient, compliant (to a given law, restriction etc.).
    • 1590, Edmund Spenser, The Faerie Queene, III.iv:
      They were all taught by Triton, to obay / To the long raynes, at her commaundement [...].

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