Meaning of civil disobedience

civ'il disobe'dience

Pronunciation: [key]
  1. the refusal to obey certain laws or governmental demands for the purpose of influencing legislation or government policy, characterized by the employment of such nonviolent techniques as boycotting, picketing, and nonpayment of taxes. Cf. noncooperation (def. 2),
  2. (caps., italics) an essay (1848) by Thoreau.
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.