Definition of disobedient in English:



  • Refusing to obey rules or someone in authority.

    ‘Larry was stern with disobedient employees’
    • ‘Children cannot be shown as disobedient or in conflict with adults.’
    • ‘My sisters always said that I am the disobedient and rebellious child, but did I ever care?’
    • ‘Very often such limitations take the form of disobedient opposition to the rules.’
    • ‘My brother describes me as constitutionally disobedient.’
    • ‘A four-year-old may be disobedient today, but it isn't necessarily clear what that means for the child's behaviour tomorrow.’
    • ‘In it, a mischievous and disobedient kitten, Tom, gets lost in the hidden places of ‘an old, old house, full of cupboards and passages’.’
    • ‘Jacob looked utterly defeated at that moment, as if I were a disobedient child that refused to be punished.’
    • ‘Whether the country's powerful media outlets like it or not, disobedient voices have transformed the national debate.’
    • ‘With the day progressing and the sun beating down relentlessly, the animals became increasingly irritable and even disobedient.’
    • ‘Meanwhile, City Of York Council's Murray Rose has introduced a range of initiatives to improve the behaviour of the most disobedient pupils.’
    • ‘The warning letter is being sent out to persistently disobedient operators along with details of similar cases that resulted in people being jailed or fined.’
    • ‘I mean, that's the biggest way I was disobedient with my parents.’
    • ‘Anita, a few years older, is everything Meena wants to be - the disobedient, uncompromising leader of a gang of girls.’
    • ‘He ordered his followers to abstain from violence, and let the world see the brutality of the British empire on the peaceful yet disobedient Indians.’
    • ‘A lot of the behaviour parents call naughty or disobedient is just a normal part of development.’
    • ‘Police worked overtime at the weekend, patrolling roads for close to 20 hours on Saturday in an effort to catch disobedient drivers.’
    • ‘‘Hop in quickly,’ my pilot Adam hollered, as the crew struggled to hold the disobedient balloon.’
    • ‘Although they still have some problems with disobedient clientele, they are seriously trying to comply with the law of the land.’
    • ‘The whole event existed somewhere between a mildly disobedient vigil, a human rights conference, and a counterculture festival.’
    • ‘It begins with a character named Zoe who decries the practice of rewarding punctuality while punishing those who are late or disobedient.’
    insubordinate, unruly, wayward, errant, badly behaved, disorderly, delinquent, disruptive, troublesome, rebellious, defiant, mutinous, recalcitrant, refractory, uncooperative, non-compliant, wilful, unbiddable, intractable, obstreperous, awkward, difficult, perverse, contrary
    naughty, mischievous, impish, roguish, rascally
    View synonyms


Late Middle English: from Old French desobedient, based on Latin oboedient- obeying (see obedient).