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[dos-uh l; British doh-sahyl] /ˈdɒs əl; British ˈdoʊ saɪl/
easily managed or handled; tractable:
a docile horse.
readily trained or taught; teachable.
Origin of docile
1475-85; < Latin docilis readily taught, equivalent to doc(ēre) to teach + -ilis -ile
Related forms
docilely, adverb
[do-sil-i-tee, doh-] /dɒˈsɪl ɪ ti, doʊ-/ (Show IPA),
1. manageable, malleable; obedient. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for docilely
Historical Examples
  • Both of the women now docilely obeyed and aided him, in his heroic self-abnegation.

    Doctor Pascal Emile Zola
  • He allowed himself to be docilely herded on to the edge of the pit.

  • He followed her docilely, caring no longer to yield to any other will than hers.

    Zibeline, Complete Phillipe de Massa
  • After supper he was docilely ready to fiddle to the men's dancing.

    The Blazed Trail Stewart Edward White
  • "Whatever you wish," he conceded, docilely as Ira could have spoken.

    The Game and the Candle Eleanor M. Ingram
  • docilely Catherine whispered it, and Jeanne laughed merrily.

    The Path of the King John Buchan
  • This time he followed her docilely, wiping his face on his sleeve.

    The Adventures of Kathlyn

    Harold MacGrath
  • He told her the name many times, and she repeated it docilely.

    Tommy and Grizel J.M. Barrie
  • He'd follow English docilely and sit down as he was ordered.

    Winner Take All

    Larry Evans
  • docilely Christopher followed him into the street where amid surging crowds they hailed the bus and began rolling up the avenue.

British Dictionary definitions for docilely


easy to manage, control, or discipline; submissive
(rare) ready to learn; easy to teach
Derived Forms
docilely, adverb
docility (dəʊˈsɪlɪtɪ) noun
Word Origin
C15: from Latin docilis easily taught, from docēre to teach
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for docilely



late 15c., "easily taught," from Italian or French docile, from Latin docilis "easily taught," from docere "teach" (see doctor). Sense of "obedient, submissive" first recorded 1774.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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