Word of the Week (WOW) – Obeisance

wow

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:

obeisance

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

 Meaning:

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

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2. deference, homage or respect for someone or something

382px-A_devotee_at_Gurudwara_Harmandir_Sahib,_Punjab
A devotee at Gurdwara Harmandir Sahib, Punjab, india. Athor: Koshy Koshy, from New Delhi, Indi Wikimedia Commons

Synonyms:

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

Antonyms: 

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.

736px-Sir_Walter_Raleigh_jetant_son_manteau_sous_les_pieds_de_la_reine_Elizabeth
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.

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

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

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

Word Treasure

18 thoughts on “Word of the Week (WOW) – Obeisance

    1. 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?

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

      2. 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. 🙂

    1. 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.

      1. I found it really helpful too. I was saying the word in my head and thinking, “is that right?” so it was good to click on the audio link and check. Mellifluous! That sounds interesting. I must have missed that one. Will go back and find out what it means!

  1. 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.

    1. 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! 🙂

      1. 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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