Definition of disobedient in English:



  • Refusing to obey rules or someone in authority.

    ‘Larry was stern with disobedient employees’
    • ‘Jacob looked utterly defeated at that moment, as if I were a disobedient child that refused to be punished.’
    • ‘Very often such limitations take the form of disobedient opposition to the rules.’
    • ‘In it, a mischievous and disobedient kitten, Tom, gets lost in the hidden places of ‘an old, old house, full of cupboards and passages’.’
    • ‘My sisters always said that I am the disobedient and rebellious child, but did I ever care?’
    • ‘A lot of the behaviour parents call naughty or disobedient is just a normal part of development.’
    • ‘I mean, that's the biggest way I was disobedient with my parents.’
    • ‘It begins with a character named Zoe who decries the practice of rewarding punctuality while punishing those who are late or disobedient.’
    • ‘‘Hop in quickly,’ my pilot Adam hollered, as the crew struggled to hold the disobedient balloon.’
    • ‘Anita, a few years older, is everything Meena wants to be - the disobedient, uncompromising leader of a gang of girls.’
    • ‘Whether the country's powerful media outlets like it or not, disobedient voices have transformed the national debate.’
    • ‘Police worked overtime at the weekend, patrolling roads for close to 20 hours on Saturday in an effort to catch disobedient drivers.’
    • ‘The whole event existed somewhere between a mildly disobedient vigil, a human rights conference, and a counterculture festival.’
    • ‘My brother describes me as constitutionally disobedient.’
    • ‘With the day progressing and the sun beating down relentlessly, the animals became increasingly irritable and even disobedient.’
    • ‘Meanwhile, City Of York Council's Murray Rose has introduced a range of initiatives to improve the behaviour of the most disobedient pupils.’
    • ‘The warning letter is being sent out to persistently disobedient operators along with details of similar cases that resulted in people being jailed or fined.’
    • ‘A four-year-old may be disobedient today, but it isn't necessarily clear what that means for the child's behaviour tomorrow.’
    • ‘Children cannot be shown as disobedient or in conflict with adults.’
    • ‘Although they still have some problems with disobedient clientele, they are seriously trying to comply with the law of the land.’
    insubordinate, unruly, wayward, errant, badly behaved, disorderly, delinquent, disruptive, troublesome, rebellious, defiant, mutinous, recalcitrant, refractory, uncooperative, non-compliant, wilful, unbiddable, intractable, obstreperous, awkward, difficult, perverse, contrary
    View synonyms


Late Middle English from Old French desobedient, based on Latin oboedient- ‘obeying’ (see obedient).