1. the state or quality of being obedient.
  2. the act or practice of obeying; dutiful or submissive compliance: Military service demands obedience from its members.
  3. a sphere of authority or jurisdiction, especially ecclesiastical.
  4. Chiefly Ecclesiastical.
    1. conformity to a monastic rule or the authority of a religious superior, especially on the part of one who has vowed such conformance.
    2. the rule or authority that exacts such conformance.


  1. the condition or quality of being obedient
  2. the act or an instance of obeying; dutiful or submissive behaviour
  3. the authority vested in a Church or similar body
  4. the collective group of persons submitting to this authoritySee also passive obedience

n.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.

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