Definition of obeisance in English:



mass noun
  • 1Deferential respect.

    ‘they paid obeisance to the Prince’
    • ‘She offered it as obeisance to the Lord Brihadeeswara, presiding deity of the temple.’
    • ‘That term cleverly covers all those who make no regular obeisance but do have in their hearts a suspicion that there is something beyond all this and that it may be called God.’
    • ‘Emperors and officials of various dynasties including Emperor Qinshihuang in 210 BC made obeisance and offered sacrifices at the Mausoleum of Yu the Great.’
    • ‘I'm afraid the day of the teacher, the priest and the doctor being the three important people to whom you pay obeisance is not around any longer, certainly not in Europe.’
    • ‘Infact Shiva's devotee, Sudheet approached Uma to pay his respectful obeisance.’
    • ‘I make obeisance for you every day before the gods of this place.’
    • ‘If you are outside when it starts playing you stop everything and show obeisance in your stillness.’
    • ‘Kirtans (devotional songs) rendered the air while the faithful paid obeisance and listened to the kirtans and the Gurbani (Guru's voice).’
    • ‘Many pilgrims report seeing the doves-pair when they trek the arduous route to pay obeisance before the ice-lingam (the phallic symbol of Shiva).’
    • ‘Temple bells chimed as men in flowing kurtas and multicoloured turbans and bejewelled women in vivid pinks and purples paid obeisance to their guru, Baba Gulabgir.’
    • ‘Kantha Rao said he gradually got over his fear of snakes and would get at least a couple of them home from snake charmers every ‘Subrahmanya Shashti’ to pay obeisance to them.’
    • ‘The rhetoric of the khilat relationship - obligation, etiquette, obeisance, summoned, commanded, respect, honour - is unique to Iranian-influenced cultures.’
    • ‘In Bihar, for instance, during the Chhath festival, devotees are required to stand in waist-deep water while paying obeisance to the Sun-god.’
    • ‘The Bangkokians poured out on the roads to pay obeisance in temples.’
    • ‘The more timid paid obeisance to the policies of the founders, but they also snippily noted that ‘their views were necessarily limited.’’
    • ‘They also expected obeisance, deference, and acquiescence to their methods - even groveling - from me.’
    • ‘It's interesting that he has drawn so much criticism for ascribing intrinsic value to this dialect without making the proper obeisance to external circumstances that accompanied its development.’
    • ‘On the other side of the cross, the copper-haired, long-nosed St John stoops in sad obeisance.’
    • ‘But those New Zealanders not utterly transfixed by the imperial glare of London or Washington have sensed that our national interests lie in a wider kind of collective security than is offered by simple colonial obeisance.’
    • ‘We need to return to the diplomatic obeisance to the United Nations.’
    respect, homage, worship, adoration, reverence, veneration, respectfulness, honour, submission, deference
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1count noun A gesture expressing deferential respect, such as a bow or curtsy.
      ‘she made a deep obeisance’
      • ‘A ‘master of etiquette’ oversees the behavior of those who attend a traditional Taiwanese funeral, informing them as to what obeisances to perform and when to perform them.’
      • ‘The slaves collapsed into reverential obeisances as the angelic flight passed overhead.’
      • ‘All 32 members in the troupe perform the Natakam as an obeisance to Melattur Varadaraja Perumal.’
      • ‘Many stories have come down to us of her cruelty: for example, that she had two serfs sent to Siberia for having failed to make their obeisances to her as she passed - because they did not see her.’
      • ‘I offer repeated obeisances unto Lord Krishna, who is the protector and well-wisher of the cows and the brahmanas.’
      bow, curtsy, bob, genuflection, salaam, salutation
      View synonyms


Late Middle English (in the sense ‘obedience’): from Old French obeissance, from obeissant ‘obeying’, present participle of obeir.