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[doo-tuh-fuh l, dyoo-] /ˈdu tə fəl, ˈdyu-/
performing the duties expected or required of one; characterized by doing one's duty:
a dutiful citizen; a dutiful child.
required by duty; proceeding from or expressive of a sense of duty:
dutiful attention.
Origin of dutiful
First recorded in 1545-55; duty + -ful
Related forms
dutifully, adverb
quasi-dutiful, adjective
quasi-dutifully, adverb
undutiful, adjective
undutifully, adverb
1. respectful, docile, submissive, duteous. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for undutiful
Historical Examples
  • Now, I am an orthodox ruin, and the undutiful stepson of a Down East alma mater.

    A Modern Instance William Dean Howells
  • This was to typify to him his own undutiful and unnatural behavior.

    Richard I Jacob Abbott
  • The father joined in the upbraiding, the disowning of an undutiful daughter.

    Immortal Memories Clement Shorter
  • Come not near us, if you have resolve to be undutiful: but this, after what I have written, I hope you cannot be.

    Clarissa, Volume 1 (of 9) Samuel Richardson
  • As a husband, he was false and heartless; as a son, he was undutiful and treacherous.

  • I don't know what you do mean; but I'm glad to hear you are not so undutiful as I thought you were.

    Sarah's School Friend May Baldwin
  • The father sent at last a peremptory order to his undutiful son to come at once to him.

  • And what advice or assistance does so undutiful a child deserve?

    Snarley-yow Frederick Marryat
  • Rafael laughed heartily at the idea, for this undutiful nephew was much amused at the flirtation between Peter and Serafina.

  • Even according to his own idea of right, he had been undutiful in his conduct to his father.

    The Inglises Margaret Murray Robertson
British Dictionary definitions for undutiful


exhibiting or having a sense of duty
characterized by or resulting from a sense of duty: a dutiful answer
Derived Forms
dutifully, adverb
dutifulness, noun
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 undutiful



1550s, from duty + -ful. Related: Dutifully.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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