View synonyms for docility


[ do-sil-i-tee, doh- ]


  1. the fact or quality of being easily handled, managed, or led; meek and unquestioning obedience or compliance:

    Their whole military system rewards docility and conformity and punishes dynamism and adherence to strong convictions.

    In contrast to the productive but stubborn Brown Swiss breed, Helvetica cows are known for their docility.

  2. willingness to learn or be taught or to accept direction; receptivity or openness:

    May this Pentecost create a new docility to the Spirit, within each of us as individuals and within the corporate Body of the Church.

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Word History and Origins

Origin of docility1

First recorded in 1550–60; docil(e) ( def ) + -ity ( def )
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Example Sentences

In studies of humans and mice, those genes influence endurance, weight-bearing ability and docility.

When the principal threatens to get Child Services involved with Robin’s case, Theo is willing to try anything to keep from medicating his son into an appropriate state of docility.

Drugs keep the docile human population in “Chemical Serenity,” glued to “pain and sex” shows on television.

Only then, the idea goes, were canines docile enough for people to train as helpers.

He wanted purity, docility, absolute devotion to her husband—and plump white arms.

In every important political step, de Brus followed with docility his father's lead.

If properly managed, cattle may be trained with all the docility, intelligence, and much of the activity of the horse.

And with the same childlike docility she repaired to her chamber, and betook herself to slumber.

These truculent ruffians (when they have thoroughly earned a thrashing) will often accept it with most edifying docility.

She would play for time; she must pretend docility and meet quiet guile with guile.