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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’”).
- Taking a bow, to show an obedient attitude.
- An obedient attitude.
Usually in the phrases do obeisance or make obeisance.
- 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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