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Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English
an oath of loyalty/allegiance/obedience
▪ They swore an oath of allegiance to the crown.
give sb loyalty/obedience/respect
▪ The people were expected to give their leader absolute obedience and loyalty.
▪ The covenant will be an affair of the heart, not just blind obedience to the Law.
▪ Safety is a matter of active attention and alert work practices, not blind obedience to arbitrary rules.
▪ I followed his commands with blind obedience, never bothering to question what his purpose might have been.
▪ Mary accepted the message of the angel with complete trust and obedience.
▪ The totalitarian political system demands complete obedience to its extensive rules regarding culture, economics, religion, and morality.
blind faith/prejudice/obedience etc
▪ Faith ceases to be laudable when it is blind faith.
▪ I followed his commands with blind obedience, never bothering to question what his purpose might have been.
▪ It was not blind faith that drove them to change the world, but a belief very well grounded in reality.
▪ Memes for blind faith have their own ruthless ways of propagating themselves.
▪ Safety is a matter of active attention and alert work practices, not blind obedience to arbitrary rules.
▪ The meme for blind faith secures its own perpetuation by the simple unconscious expedient of discouraging rational inquiry.
▪ Then you reposed an absolutely blind faith in the Emperor!
▪ This is true of patriotic and political as well as religious blind faith.
▪ The General demanded absolute obedience from his men.
▪ Young children are expected to show obedience to their parents.
▪ As abbot of Bec, Anselm had owed obedience to several superiors whose permission he had sought before accepting the archbishopric.
▪ But on the two matters on which his own personal obedience was required there was no room for compromise.
▪ How then can we encourage obedience?
▪ In a court in which obsequious obedience to the monarch was the rule.
▪ In this capacity he was entitled to obedience from the subjects whose welfare he served.
▪ The changes are about how to discipline and the reasons for requiring obedience to certain rules.
▪ With young children, teaching obedience to rules requires knowledge of three matters: Does he or she know what to do?
▪ Women were bound to absolute obedience to their Promise Keeper husbands and fathers.
The Collaborative International Dictionary

Priory \Pri"o*ry\, n.; pl. Priories. [Cf. LL. prioria. See Prior, n.] A religious house presided over by a prior or prioress; -- sometimes an offshoot of, an subordinate to, an abbey, and called also cell, and obedience. See Cell, 2.

Note: Of such houses there were two sorts: one where the prior was chosen by the inmates, and governed as independently as an abbot in an abbey; the other where the priory was subordinate to an abbey, and the prior was placed or displaced at the will of the abbot.

Alien priory, a small religious house dependent on a large monastery in some other country.

Syn: See Cloister.

Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

c.1200, "submission to a higher power or authority," from Old French obedience "obedience, submission" (12c.) and directly from Latin oboedientia "obedience," noun of quality from oboedientem (nominative oboediens); see obedient. In reference to dog training from 1930.


n. The quality of being obedient.

  1. n. the act of obeying; dutiful or submissive behavior with respect to another person [syn: obeisance] [ant: disobedience]

  2. the trait of being willing to obey [ant: disobedience]

  3. behavior intended to please your parents; "their children were never very strong on obedience"; "he went to law school out of respect for his father's wishes" [syn: respect]


The term obedience may refer to:

  • Obedience (human behavior)
  • Obedience, an educational film about the Milgram experiment on obedience to authority figures
  • Vow of obedience as an evangelical counsel
  • Obedience training for dogs
  • Obedience trial, a dog sport
  • Obedience, a common name for the plant Maranta arundinacea
  • Obedience, a common name for the plant Physostegia virginiana
  • Obedience, the name given to a jurisdiction in Freemasonry
  • Obedience (album), an EP by Swedish black metal band Marduk, released in 2000
Obedience (human behavior)

Obedience, in human behavior, is a form of " social influence in which a person yields to explicit instructions or orders from an authority figure". Obedience is generally distinguished from compliance, which is behavior influenced by peers, and from conformity, which is behavior intended to match that of the majority. Obedience can be seen as immoral, amoral and moral.

Humans have been shown to be obedient in the presence of perceived legitimate authority figures, as shown by the Milgram experiment in the 1960s, which was carried out by Stanley Milgram to find out how the Nazis managed to get ordinary people to take part in the mass murders of the Holocaust. The experiment showed that obedience to authority was the norm, not the exception. Regarding obedience, Milgram said that "Obedience is as basic an element in the structure of social life as one can point to; Some system of authority is a requirement of all communal living, and it is only the man dwelling in isolation who is not forced to respond, through defiance or submission, to the commands of others." A similar conclusion was reached in the Stanford prison experiment.

Obedience (album)

Obedience is the third EP by Swedish black metal band Marduk. It was recorded and mixed at The Abyss in December 1999 and released on February 7, 2000. "Obedience" and "Funeral Bitch" were re-recorded for the band's 2001 album, La Grande Danse Macabre (the former being retitled "Obedience unto Death"). Peter Tägtgren, who mixed the band's previous efforts since 1996's Heaven Shall Burn... When We Are Gathered, was not involved with this recording; instead mixing was handled by Tommy Tägtgren. Peter Tägtgren returned to mixing Marduk's recordings in December 2000 when the band began recording La Grande Danse Macabre. Obedience was the first Marduk release by Regain Records.

Usage examples of "obedience".

She replied that she was debarred from accepting any money by her vow of poverty and obedience, and that she had given up to the abbess what remained of the alms the bishop had procured her.

Having by the proclamation extended amnesty on the simple condition of an oath of loyalty to the Union and the Constitution, and obedience to the Decree of Emancipation, the President had established a definite and easily ascertainable constituency of white men in the South to whom the work of reconstructing civil government in the several States might be intrusted.

For while Lutheranism stood essentially for passive obedience, and flourished nowhere save as a state church, Anabaptism was frankly revolutionary and often socialistic.

During the Revolutionary War, Congress took cognizance of all matters arising under the law of nations and professed obedience to that law.

These and sundry other sins having duly been confessed, the badger bade the fox chastise himself with a switch plucked from the hedge, lay it down in the road, jump over it thrice, and then meekly kiss that rod in token of obedience.

The most obstinate of them told me that the abbot had behaved more like a despot than a father, and had thus absolved them from their obedience.

Christians, supposedly disciplined in the old virtues, boasting of their code of honor, courageous in the face of death on the battlefield, is astonishing, though perhaps it can be grasped if one remembers the course of German history, outlined in an earlier chapter, which made blind obedience to temporal rulers the highest virtue of Germanic man and put a premium on servility.

As he moved along the deck of the Bucentaur, the senators made way, as if pestilence was in his path, though it was quite apparent, by the expression of their faces, that it was in obedience to a feeling of a mixed character.

Alternate doses of LSD6 and bulbocapnine -- the bulbocapnine potientiated with curare -- give the highest yield of automatic obedience.

At this point Annette came in, and in obedience to her mistress replaced the coverlet over the two Bacchantes.

Lita enjoyed that race as heartily as she had done several others of late, and caracoled about as if anxious to make up for her lack of skill by speed and obedience.

But the modern view, with its deepening insistence upon individuality and upon the significance of its uniqueness, steadily intensifies the value of freedom, until at last we begin to see liberty as the very substance of life, that indeed it is life, and that only the dead things, the choiceless things, live in absolute obedience to law.

God doth not lessen their obedience and allegiance to the king, but increaseth it, and maketh the obedience firmer: because we are in covenant with God, we should the more obey a covenanted king.

God may justly challenge obedience without covenanting, by virtue of creation, preservation and redemption: He hath made us, and, when lost, He hath purchased us with His blood.

Each drop, as he had foreseen, was being used six or seven times and in obedience to such a well-conceived plan, when the Platte finally reached the exit point, it was carrying exactly the 120 cusecs which the Supreme Court had directed Colorado to deliver to Nebraska.