Definition of obeisance in English:



  • 1Deferential respect.

    ‘they paid obeisance to the prince’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘They also expected obeisance, deference, and acquiescence to their methods - even groveling - from me.’
    • ‘The Bangkokians poured out on the roads to pay obeisance in temples.’
    • ‘Infact Shiva's devotee, Sudheet approached Uma to pay his respectful obeisance.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘We need to return to the diplomatic obeisance to the United Nations.’
    • ‘On the other side of the cross, the copper-haired, long-nosed St John stoops in sad obeisance.’
    • ‘The rhetoric of the khilat relationship - obligation, etiquette, obeisance, summoned, commanded, respect, honour - is unique to Iranian-influenced cultures.’
    • ‘I make obeisance for you every day before the gods of this place.’
    • ‘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).’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘If you are outside when it starts playing you stop everything and show obeisance in your stillness.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘In Bihar, for instance, during the Chhath festival, devotees are required to stand in waist-deep water while paying obeisance to the Sun-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.’
    • ‘She offered it as obeisance to the Lord Brihadeeswara, presiding deity of the temple.’
    • ‘The more timid paid obeisance to the policies of the founders, but they also snippily noted that ‘their views were necessarily limited.’’
    • ‘Kirtans (devotional songs) rendered the air while the faithful paid obeisance and listened to the kirtans and the Gurbani (Guru's voice).’
    • ‘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.’
    respect, homage, worship, adoration, reverence, veneration, respectfulness, honour, submission, deference
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1A 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.’
      • ‘I offer repeated obeisances unto Lord Krishna, who is the protector and well-wisher of the cows and the brahmanas.’
      • ‘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.’
      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.