• synonyms


[dos-uhl; British doh-sahyl]
  1. easily managed or handled; tractable: a docile horse.
  2. readily trained or taught; teachable.
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Origin of docile

1475–85; < Latin docilis readily taught, equivalent to doc(ēre) to teach + -ilis -ile
Related formsdoc·ile·ly, adverbdo·cil·i·ty [do-sil-i-tee, doh-] /dɒˈsɪl ɪ ti, doʊ-/, noun


Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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

British Dictionary definitions for docilely


  1. easy to manage, control, or discipline; submissive
  2. rare ready to learn; easy to teach
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Derived Formsdocilely, adverbdocility (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

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.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper