obeisance (n.) late 14c., "act or fact of obeying," from O.Fr. obeissance "obedience" (13c.), from obeissant, prp. of obeir "obey," from L. oboedire (see OBEY (Cf. obey)). Sense in English altered late 14c. to "bending or prostration of the body as a gesture of submission or respect" by confusion with abaisance. Related: Obeisant.

Etymology dictionary. 2014.

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  • Obeisance — O*bei sance, n. [F. ob[ e]issance obedience, fr. ob[ e]issant. See {Obey}, and cf. {Obedience}, {Abaisance}.] 1. Obedience. [Obs.] Chaucer. [1913 Webster] 2. Deference or homage, or an expression of deference or respect; a bow; a curtsy. [1913… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • obeisance — index conformity (obedience), homage, honor (outward respect), prostration, respect Burton s Legal Thesaurus. William C. Burton. 2006 …   Law dictionary

  • obeisance — deference, homage, *honor, reverence Analogous words: allegiance, fealty, loyalty, *fidelity: respect, esteem, *regard: veneration, reverence (see under REVERE) …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • obeisance — means ‘homage, submission’, and is pronounced oh bay sǝns …   Modern English usage

  • obeisance — [n] salutation allegiance, bending of the knee*, bow, curtsy, deference, fealty, genuflection, homage, honor, kowtow*, loyalty, praise, respect, reverence, salaam*; concepts 154,384 Ant. bad manners, disobedience, disregard, disrespect …   New thesaurus

  • obeisance — ► NOUN 1) deferential respect or homage. 2) a gesture expressing this, such as a bow. DERIVATIVES obeisant adjective. ORIGIN Old French obeissance, from obeir obey …   English terms dictionary

  • obeisance — [ō bā′səns, ōbē′səns] n. [ME obeisaunce < OFr obeissance < obeissant, prp. of obeir,OBEY] 1. a gesture of respect or reverence, such as a bow or curtsy 2. the attitude shown by this; homage; deference obeisant adj …   English World dictionary

  • obeisance — noun Etymology: Middle English obeisaunce obedience, obeisance, from Anglo French obeisance, from obeissant, present participle of obeir to obey Date: 14th century 1. a movement of the body made in token of respect or submission ; bow 2.… …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • obeisance — [[t]oʊbe͟ɪsəns[/t]] obeisances 1) N UNCOUNT: usu N to n Obeisance to someone or something is great respect shown for them. [FORMAL] While he was still young and strong all paid obeisance to him. 2) N VAR An obeisance is a physical gesture,… …   English dictionary

  • obeisance — o|bei|sance [əuˈbeısəns US ou ] n [U and C] literary [Date: 1300 1400; : Old French; Origin: obeir; OBEY] respect and obedience to someone or something, often shown by bending your head or the upper part of your body make/pay obeisance (to… …   Dictionary of contemporary English

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