Disobedience means not following rules or instructions given to you by an authority figure. The disobedience of the kids at summer camp might drive their counselor batty.

Ordinary disobedience includes things like your dog chasing your cat even after you tell her not to, or a party guest refusing to hand over a gift to the birthday boy despite being instructed to do it. Civil disobedience is a special type of defiance: it's refusing to follow the laws or demands of a governing power that you disagree with. During the Civil Rights Movement, protesters used civil disobedience (including sit-ins and boycotts) to protest segregation.

Definitions of disobedience

n the failure to obey

obedience, obeisance
the act of obeying; dutiful or submissive behavior with respect to another person
abidance, compliance, conformation, conformity
acting according to certain accepted standards
show more antonyms...
show 4 types...
hide 4 types...
a willful disobedience to or disrespect for the authority of a court or legislative body
willful refusal to appear before a court or comply with a court order; can result in a finding of contempt of court
contempt of Congress
deliberate obstruction of the operation of the federal legislative branch
contempt of court
disrespect for the rules of a court of law
Type of:
insubordination, rebelliousness
an insubordinate act

n the trait of being unwilling to obey

the trait of being willing to obey
badness, mischievousness, naughtiness
an attribute of mischievous children
prankishness, rascality, roguishness
the trait of indulging in disreputable pranks
Type of:
intractability, intractableness
the trait of being hard to influence or control

Sign up, it's free!

Whether you're a student, an educator, or a lifelong learner, Vocabulary.com can put you on the path to systematic vocabulary improvement.