1. The act of obeying, or the state of being obedient; compliance with that which is required by authority; subjection to rightful restraint or control. "Government must compel the obedience of individuals." (Ames)

2. Words or actions denoting submission to authority; dutifulness.

3. A following; a body of adherents; as, the Roman Catholic obedience, or the whole body of persons who submit to the authority of the pope. A cell (or offshoot of a larger monastery) governed by a prior.

One of the three monastic vows.

The written precept of a superior in a religious order or congregation to a subject. Canonical obedience. See Canonical. Passive obedience. See Passive.

Origin: F. Obedience, L. Obedientia, oboedientia. See Obedient, and cf.Obeisance.

(01 Mar 1998)

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