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obeisance

Definition from Dictionary, a free dictionary
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English

Etymology

Middle English obeisaunce (obedience, obeisance), from Old French obeïssance, derived from obeïssant (obedient), participle of obeïr (to obey), from Latin oboedire, obedire; ob- (to, for) + audire (to hear).

Pronunciation

  • IPA: /oˈbeɪsəns/, SAMPA: /o"beIs@ns/
    Hyphenation: obei‧sance
    Rhymes: -eɪsəns
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Noun

Singular
obeisance

Plural
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obeisance ({{{1}}})
  1. Taking a bow, to show an obedient attitude.
  2. An obedient attitude.

Usage notes

Usually in the phrases do obeisance or make obeisance.

Quotations

  • The situation in the case of actions which are non-linguistic but similar to performative utterances in that they are the performance of a conventional action (here ritual or ceremonial) is rather like this : suppose I bow deeply before you; it might not be clear whether I am doing obeisance to you or, say, stooping to observe the flora or to ease my indigestion. - "How To Do Things With Words" (1962) by JL Austin (OUP paperback edition, 69)

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