Word of the Week (WOW) – Obeisance


Word of the Week (WOW) is a weekly challenge created by Heena Rathore P. It’s a fun way to improve vocabulary by learning new words every week.

To participate, simply do a post with your word and leave the link as a comment on Heena’s WOW post for this week (above link). It’s a nice post to do and will give you some practise with a dictionary, of which there are several online. Illustrations are by no means necessary, but it’s up to you.

I’m up to the letter O this week. I started off by just choosing a word at random (perspicacious). Since then, I’ve been working through the alphabet, so I’ll be looking for a word beginning with the letter next week.

So, here is my WOW for this week:


Word: Obeisance

Pronunciation:  o·bei·sance [oh-bey-suh ns] [ə(ʊ)ˈbeɪs(ə)ns]

Audio:  Obeisance

Part of Speech:  Noun

Plural noun: obeisances

Adjective: obeisant

Adverb: obeisantly


1.  a movement of the body expressing deep respect or deferential courtesy, as before a superior; a bow, curtsy, or other similar gesture.


2. deference, homage or respect for someone or something


A devotee at Gurdwara Harmandir Sahib, Punjab, india. Athor: Koshy Koshy, from New Delhi, Indi Wikimedia Commons


homage, respect, tribute, loyalty, devotion, fidelity, reverence, deference, faithfulness, fealty,  allegiance, bow, salaam, salutation, kowtow, genuflection, bob, bending of the knee, curtsy or curtsey, veneration, submission


censure, condemnation, disdain, scorn, dishonour, disloyalty, disregard, disrespect, treachery, bad manners, disobedience

Word Origin

1325-75; Middle English obeisaunce < Middle French obeissance, derivative of Old French obeissant, present participle of obeir to obey.

Use in a Sentence:

1. Sir Walter Raleigh displayed obeisance to Queen Elizabeth I by throwing his cloak over a puddle along her route.


Raleigh and his Cloak cartoon by Thackery,1848 for the first edition of ‘The Book of Snobs’. Public Domain

2.  Obeisance was not one of the rude secretary’s personal qualities.


3. (Adverb use) The serving girl bowed her head obeisantly as she proffered the wine goblet to the king.


4. (Plural use) The noblemen filed into the large hall to make their obeisances to the new king.


If you’d like to see more interesting words, visit Heena’s page:

Word Treasure

About milliethom

I am a reader and writer of historical fiction with a keen interest in the Earth's history and all it involves, both physically and socially. I like nothing better than to be outdoors, especially in faraway places, and baking is something I do when my eyes need respite from my computer screen.
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18 Responses to Word of the Week (WOW) – Obeisance

  1. exiledprospero says:

    Il faut connaître le français pour apprécier ce mot, Millie.

    • milliethom says:

      You’re so right,of course. The word’s origins are definitely French, so I suppose an understanding of that language helps. 🙂
      By the way, how many languages do you actually speak? I’ve already been treated to Spanish and French – besides English, that is. Any others?

      • exiledprospero says:

        Only French and some English, I’m afraid. I got the Spanish from a phrase book. Hope it didn’t get you into trouble.

      • milliethom says:

        No, I can’t say I heard that particular Spanish phrase all week! And I didn’t really need to quote Don Quixote to anyone, either. So, now I think I’ve got it… you’re a native French speaker. In which case, your English is very good. 🙂

  2. Creatopath says:

    Great idea to include an audio link!

    • milliethom says:

      Thanks Rachel. 🙂 I included the audio link because there are people who don’t speak English as a first language who have struggled to pronouce previous words I’ve done. One person said she couldn’t manage to say mellifluous two week’s ago, so I decided to put the first audio link in last week’s post.

  3. A nice word! I always wondered about using a single word to use while describing something like this… Thanks Millie!
    Have a great day!

  4. Bekki Hill says:

    Great idea to put the audio clip in. English is my first language, but as a dyslexic with the phonic ability of a slug a word like that – which I haven’t seen before – is impossible to pronounce from just seeing the letters.

    • milliethom says:

      I’m glad this is seen as a good idea, Bekki, and I just wish I’d thought of it earlier. I suppose sometimes we take it for granted that our own language will be easy to pronounce from the written breakdown of syllables. 🙂
      Your dyslexia has evidently not held your writing ability back. I read the guest post you did yesterday and was very impressed by your list of achievements! 🙂

  5. A beautiful word to learn and how lovely it is to include an audio link! 😉 It really helps me with learning 🙂 Thank you Millie! ❤

    • milliethom says:

      Including an audio link seems to have been a good idea. Some English words are pronounced quite differently to how they look! Thank you, Khloe. ❤

      • Yes, it was a great idea and everyone seems to love it a lot 🙂 Yes, I agree 🙂 We do listen to the pronunciation instead of just reading the words 😛 You’re welcome as always Millie ❤

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