Definition of obeisance in US English:



  • 1Deferential respect.

    ‘they paid obeisance to the Prince’
    • ‘We need to return to the diplomatic obeisance to the United Nations.’
    • ‘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).’
    • ‘Infact Shiva's devotee, Sudheet approached Uma to pay his respectful obeisance.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Emperors and officials of various dynasties including Emperor Qinshihuang in 210 BC made obeisance and offered sacrifices at the Mausoleum of Yu the Great.’
    • ‘If you are outside when it starts playing you stop everything and show obeisance in your stillness.’
    • ‘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 make obeisance for you every day before the gods of this place.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘In Bihar, for instance, during the Chhath festival, devotees are required to stand in waist-deep water while paying obeisance to the Sun-god.’
    • ‘She offered it as obeisance to the Lord Brihadeeswara, presiding deity of the temple.’
    • ‘The rhetoric of the khilat relationship - obligation, etiquette, obeisance, summoned, commanded, respect, honour - is unique to Iranian-influenced cultures.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘They also expected obeisance, deference, and acquiescence to their methods - even groveling - from me.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The Bangkokians poured out on the roads to pay obeisance in temples.’
    • ‘On the other side of the cross, the copper-haired, long-nosed St John stoops in sad obeisance.’
    • ‘The more timid paid obeisance to the policies of the founders, but they also snippily noted that ‘their views were necessarily limited.’’
    respect, homage, worship, adoration, reverence, veneration, respectfulness, honour, submission, deference
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    1. 1.1 A gesture expressing deferential respect, such as a bow or curtsy.
      ‘she made a deep obeisance’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The slaves collapsed into reverential obeisances as the angelic flight passed overhead.’
      • ‘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.’
      bow, curtsy, bob, genuflection, salaam, salutation
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Late Middle English (in the sense ‘obedience’): from Old French obeissance, from obeissant ‘obeying’, present participle of obeir.