verb (used with object)
- to comply with or follow the commands, restrictions, wishes, or instructions of: to obey one’s parents.
- to comply with or follow (a command, restriction, wish, instruction, etc.).
- (of things) to respond conformably in action to: The car obeyed the slightest touch of the steering wheel.
- to submit or conform in action to (some guiding principle, impulse, one’s conscience, etc.).
verb (used without object)
- to be obedient: to agree to obey.
- to carry out (instructions or orders); comply with (demands)
- to behave or act in accordance with (one’s feelings, whims, etc)
v.late 13c., from Old French obeir “obey, be obedient, do one’s duty” (12c.), from Latin obedire, oboedire “obey, be subject, serve; pay attention to, give ear,” literally “listen to,” from ob “to” (see ob-) + audire “listen, hear” (see audience). Same sense development is in cognate Old English hiersumnian. Related: Obeyed; obeying.