c. 1200, "the practice or virtue of submission to a higher power or authority;" late 14c., "dutiful compliance with a command or law," from Old French obedience "obedience, submission" (12c.), from Latin oboedientia "obedience," abstract noun from oboedientem (nominative oboediens) "obedient, compliant," present participle of oboedire "to obey" (see obey). In reference to dog training from 1930.
It has been a constant remark, that free countries have ever paid the heaviest taxes. The obedience of a free people to general laws, however hard they bear, is ever more perfect than that of slaves to the arbitrary will of a prince. [Alexander Hamilton to James Duane, Sept. 3, 1780]
updated on July 24, 2019
Dictionary entries near obedience