What does obey mean?

Definitions for obey

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word obey.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. obeyverb

    be obedient to


  1. obeyverb

    To do as ordered by (a person, institution etc), to act according to the bidding of.

  2. obeyverb

    To do as one is told.

  3. obeyverb

    To be obedient, compliant (to a given law, restriction etc.).

  4. Etymology: From obeir, obeier et al., obeir, from oboedire (also obedire), from ob- + audire. Compare audient.

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. To Obeyverb

    Etymology: obeïr, French; obedio, Latin.

    The will of heav’n
    Be done in this and all things! I obey. William Shakespeare, Hen. VIII.

    I am asham’d, that women are so simple
    To seek for rule, supremacy, and sway,
    When they are bound to serve, love, and obey. William Shakespeare.

    Let not sin reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof. Rom. vi. 12.

    Was she thy God, that her thou didst obey,
    Before his voice? John Milton, Paradise Lost, b. x.

    Africk and India shall his pow’r obey,
    He shall extend his propagated sway
    Beyond the solar year, without the starry way. Dryden.

    He commanded the trumpets to sound; to which the two brave knights obeying, they performed their courses, breaking their staves. Philip Sidney.

    The flit bark, obeying to her mind,
    Forth launched quickly, as she did desire. Fairy Q.

    His servants ye are, to whom ye obey. Rom. vi. 16.

    Nor did they not perceive the evil plight
    In which they were, or the fierce pains not feel,
    Yet to their general’s voice they soon obey’d. John Milton.


  1. obey

    Obey refers to the act of following and adhering to rules, commands, or instructions given by an authority figure or a governing law. It involves complying with or submitting to someone in a position of power or a set system of guidelines.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Obeyverb

    to give ear to; to execute the commands of; to yield submission to; to comply with the orders of

  2. Obeyverb

    to submit to the authority of; to be ruled by

  3. Obeyverb

    to yield to the impulse, power, or operation of; as, a ship obeys her helm

  4. Obeyverb

    to give obedience

  5. Etymology: [OE. obeyen, F. obir, fr. L. obedire, oboedire; ob (see Ob-) + audire to hear. See Audible, and cf. Obeisance.]


  1. Obey

    Obey is the third album by Brainbombs. It was released in Sweden on CD in 1995 by Releasing Eskimo. The vinyl issue was released in the U.S. by Wabana Records in 1997. It was reissued on CD by Armageddon Records in 2008. The album's cover shows a photograph of Ed Gein.

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Obey

    ō-bā′, v.t. to do as told by: to be ruled by: to yield to: to carry out or perform.—v.i. to submit to power, &c.: (B.) to yield obedience (followed by to).—n. Obey′er.—adv. Obey′ingly, obediently. [Fr. obéir—L. obedīreob, near, audīre, to hear.]

Dictionary of Nautical Terms

  1. obey

    A word forming the fulcrum of naval discipline.

Suggested Resources

  1. OBEY

    What does OBEY stand for? -- Explore the various meanings for the OBEY acronym on the Abbreviations.com website.

Surnames Frequency by Census Records

  1. OBEY

    According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Obey is ranked #31656 in terms of the most common surnames in America.

    The Obey surname appeared 730 times in the 2010 census and if you were to sample 100,000 people in the United States, approximately 0 would have the surname Obey.

    53.7% or 392 total occurrences were Black.
    37.9% or 277 total occurrences were White.
    5.2% or 38 total occurrences were of two or more races.
    1.6% or 12 total occurrences were American Indian or Alaskan Native.

Matched Categories

British National Corpus

  1. Verbs Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'obey' in Verbs Frequency: #1029

How to pronounce obey?

How to say obey in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of obey in Chaldean Numerology is: 6

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of obey in Pythagorean Numerology is: 2

Examples of obey in a Sentence

  1. Joan Wester Anderson:

    We can all be angels to one another. We can choose to obey the still small stirring within, the little whisper that says, 'Go. Ask. Reach out. Be an answer to someone's plea. You have a part to play. Have faith.' We can decide to risk that He is indeed there, watching, caring, cherishing us as we love and accept love. The world will be a better place for it. And wherever they are, the angels will dance.

  2. Tom Hanks:

    It’s never too late to change things … and that’s the responsibility of anybody who wants to obey a code of professional ethics.

  3. David Bazelon:

    Members of society must obey the law because they personally believe that its commands are justified.

  4. Chaim Weizmann:

    A law is something which must have a moral basis, so that there is an inner compelling force for every citizen to obey.

  5. Tom Simon:

    While yoga and meditation can be beneficial activities, it doesn't negate the need to obey flight crew instructions while in the air, the fact that the defendant's alleged misconduct caused the flight to be turned around in the air gives you an idea of the seriousness of this situation.

Popularity rank by frequency of use


Translations for obey

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"obey." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 17 Apr. 2024. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/obey>.

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