The Closing Word: Obeisance

The Closing Word: ObeisanceThis week we continue our vocabulary-building series, “The Closing Word.” Each week we provide a new word to help build your vocabulary and show you an example of how to use it.

This week’s closing word:


Pronounced: (oh-BAY-sense)

1. bending the head or body or knee as a sign of reverence or submission or shame or greeting
2. the act of obeying; dutiful or submissive behavior with respect to another person

From “Obeisance is often used in historical or religious contexts and often refers to bowing or kneeling. Figuratively, it means an act of respect though sometimes with the negative connotation of slavishly doing as expected. Your boyfriend might bring you and your mother flowers in obeisance to the idea that the parents should be courted as much as the child. Consumers who want this software must show obeisance to the Internet — it can’t be bought in a store or anywhere else.”

“The dog’s unprompted obeisance suggested a horrible surprise waited for us somewhere in the house.”

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