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obey - definition and synonyms


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verb [intransitive/transitive] obey pronunciation in British English /əˈbeɪ/
Word Forms
present tense
present participleobeying
past tenseobeyed
past participleobeyed
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  1. 1
    to do what a law or a person says that you must do

    He called the dog off and it immediately obeyed.

    Officers expect their troops to obey them without question.

    obey an order/command/instruction:

    The soldiers were used to obeying orders.

    obey the law/rules:

    Drivers are not obeying the new traffic laws.

  2. 3
    informal to do what is expected or is usual

    My hair’s still sticking up – I just can’t get it to obey me.



used to describe something which is done more carefully and over a longer period of time …

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the practice of giving birth in the presence of several friends and relatives

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