Definition of disobey in US English:



[with object]
  • Fail to obey (rules, a command, or someone in authority)

    ‘around 1,000 soldiers had disobeyed orders and surrendered’
    • ‘I disobeyed this rule once, and was found out - the only time in my life I was ever grounded.’
    • ‘The officer will be charged with four counts of disobeying a lawful command.’
    • ‘‘I worry that a small part of the bureaucracy disobeys the rules that say they should serve the people,’ Yuan said.’
    • ‘Of course, if he was accepted into training, he would get in much more trouble for disobeying the rules.’
    • ‘As the most senior member of staff on the ward, Salisbury was a mentor to trainee nurses and many were too nervous to disobey her commands.’
    • ‘Both bars have also developed a set of sanctions for patrons who disobey the rules.’
    • ‘I did not call on soldiers to resist or to disobey orders.’
    • ‘So lost in thought was she that she nearly disobeyed her own rules.’
    • ‘Nathan moans softly, clutching his shoulder, and Hayden disobeys Ryder's command and holds me strongly.’
    • ‘Castleford were alleged to have repeatedly disobeyed the committee's rules.’
    • ‘She never disobeyed laws or rules for her own ill-gotten gains, it was just that she was good at it, and it was fun.’
    • ‘She had disobeyed a witness summons ordering her to give evidence at the trial.’
    • ‘But a young lieutenant, Roberts, disobeyed his command and carried him to the medical camp, where he died.’
    • ‘Nine times out of 10, said the report, crashes were due to drivers and pedestrians disobeying the rules of the road.’
    • ‘Cameramen are forbidden by the Iraqis from filming from hotel balconies, but the rule is widely disobeyed.’
    • ‘The group also encouraged British soldiers to disobey orders and refrain from entering combat.’
    • ‘However, she disobeys her orders and resists the dominant powers with little effort.’
    • ‘That is what civil disobedience is: disobeying existing laws in order to promote change.’
    • ‘Civil disobedience may be justifiable, in some cases, when and if an individual disobeys a law in order to bring an issue to court, as a test case.’
    • ‘Severe disciplinary action would be taken against any soldier or policeman who disobeyed this order.’
    defy, go against, flout, contravene, infringe, overstep, transgress, violate, fail to comply with, resist, oppose, rebel against, fly in the face of
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Late Middle English: from Old French desobeir, based on Latin oboedire ‘obey’ (see obey).