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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. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for undutiful
Historical Examples
  • 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
  • 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
  • "It was worse than foolish; it was wrong and undutiful," he declared.

    The New Tenant E. Phillips Oppenheim
  • This was to typify to him his own undutiful and unnatural behavior.

    Richard I Jacob Abbott
  • I look upon it as disobedient and undutiful and—and cowardly.

    Dead Man's Land George Manville Fenn
  • The father joined in the upbraiding, the disowning of an undutiful daughter.

    Immortal Memories Clement Shorter
  • And what advice or assistance does so undutiful a child deserve?

    Snarley-yow Frederick Marryat
  • Even according to his own idea of right, he had been undutiful in his conduct to his father.

    The Inglises Margaret Murray Robertson
  • "Certainly not," cried the young girl with undutiful positiveness.

  • Is this the way you show your obedience, you undutiful wretch?

    Lady Eureka, v. 2 (of 3) Robert Folkestone Williams
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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