When you obey, you follow someone's rules or instructions. In the old days, all of a monarchy's citizens were expected to obey the commands of their king or queen.

You might be expected to obey the rules your strict parents lay down, or to obey the guidelines of a group or club you belong to. Religious Christians obey God, and soldiers obey the direct orders their commanding officers give them. To obey is to be obedient, and both words come from the Latin obedire, which literally means "listen to," but is used to mean "pay attention to."

Definitions of obey

v be obedient to

refuse to go along with; refuse to follow; be disobedient
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abide by, comply, follow
act in accordance with someone's rules, commands, or wishes
take orders
receive and be expected to follow directions or commands
heed, listen, mind
pay close attention to; give heed to
accommodate, oblige
provide a service or favor for someone
toe the line
do what is expected
conform to
Type of:
adapt, adjust, conform
adapt or conform oneself to new or different conditions

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