O*be"di*ence (?), n. [F. ob├ędience, L. obedientia, oboedientia. See Obedient, and cf. Obeisance.]

1. The act of obeying, or the state of being obedient; compliance with that which is required by authority; subjection to rightful restraint or control.

Government must compel the obedience of individuals.

2. Words or actions denoting submission to authority; dutifulness. Shak.

3. (Eccl.) (a) A following; a body of adherents; as, the Roman Catholic obedience, or the whole body of persons who submit to the authority of the pope. (b) A cell (or offshoot of a larger monastery) governed by a prior. (c) One of the three monastic vows. Shipley. (d) The written precept of a superior in a religious order or congregation to a subject.

Canonical obedience. See under Canonical. -- Passive obedience. See under Passive.