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(pronounced oh-bay-sunt or oh-bee-sunt)  adjective


from the noun obeisance.
Obeisance (pronounced oh-bay-suns or oh-bee-suns): 1. a movement of the body expressing deep respect or deference; a bow, curtsy, or other similar gesture of reverence. 2. an attitude of subservience, veneration, or homage.

Main Example

  • In her recent (May 8) testimony before Congress, former Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates revealed that Gen. Michael Flynn had been compromised by the Russians and he had thus rendered himself vulnerable to blackmail by our foremost military adversary. In other words, had Flynn not been removed from his critical post of national security advisor, he would, in all likelihood, be secretly paying obeisance to Vladimir Putin.

Workplace Examples

  • Now, listen up everybody! I’ve got the inside track on our new owners, and rumor has it they just can’t stand flashy neckties. Now, I know it’s silly, but, please, in obeisance to them, save your brightest ties for after office hours, okay?
  • Hey, I saw you talking to those two people from corporate. You were being so deferential, so obeisant, like you were talking to some senior execs or something. Did you know they have only entry level positions?

Other Examples

  • this author commenting to a friend: “I admire the manner in which Japanese businessmen present their business cards--holding it with both hands and bowing. It’s so respectful! I love that element of obeisance.”
  • a colleague saying in indignation: “At today’s quarterly meeting, there was the usual show of deference to Mark by numerous employees, even though over the past several years every project he has touched has been close to a flop. How do you explain all this ‘obeisance’? Surely it’s not because of his 6’6” height?”
  • many CEOs saying that a key ingredient of their success is having surrounded themselves with smart people rather than obeisant execs and managers
  • in what was a clear sign of Congress’s unfailing obeisance to the gun lobby, lawmakers in Washington failing to pass an “expanded gun background checks” bill in April 2013--just four months after the monumental tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary--even though a majority of Americans supported the measure
  • because of the constant crush of humanity at the mega famous temple in Tirupati in South India, each worshipper being allowed just a few seconds in which to pay obeisance to the deity of Balaji (an avatar of Lord Vishnu) before being gently moved toward the exit by “pushers”
  • As a manifestation of the special relationship between America and Japan since the end of WWII, whenever there is a changing of the guard in either nation, the head of the Japanese government visits Washington as if to make obeisance to the president of the United States.
  • Here’s an instance of our media and press corps being obeisant and thus presenting a despicable sight: During the anarchy that prevailed in Baghdad shortly after the U.S. invasion in 2003, there was massive looting of Iraq’s National Museum. The entire world was stunned to learn that numerous ancient vases and other invaluable specimens belonging to the Mesopotamian civilization had been stolen. Soon after that museum’s shocked director lamented publicly about this staggering loss, then-Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld scoffed at the museum’s claims during a press conference, saying laughingly that at best the museum possessed one or two vases and so no big deal. And what might you ask was the reaction of his audience, which comprised many well-known media personalities? They just sat pusillanimously, some even joining Rumsfeld in his misguided laughter. Not a single one of those men and women was gutsy enough to challenge the secretary.

© 2017 V.J. Singal
No part of this may be reproduced in any form without written permission of the author.

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