[doo-tuh-fuhl, dyoo-]


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 formsdu·ti·ful·ly, adverbqua·si-du·ti·ful, adjectivequa·si-du·ti·ful·ly, adverbun·du·ti·ful, adjectiveun·du·ti·ful·ly, adverb

Synonyms for dutiful

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for dutiful

Contemporary Examples of dutiful

Historical Examples of dutiful

  • As for Lady Johnson, she is too dutiful and wise a woman to have any wishes that are not her husband's.

    In the Valley

    Harold Frederic

  • Her impartial and dutiful reasonings on her difficult situation.

    Clarissa, Volume 2 (of 9)

    Samuel Richardson

  • But she was dutiful to him, and he was circumspect in his behaviour before her.

    Captain Blood

    Rafael Sabatini

  • And will it suit you to be dutiful if your uncle accepts this monstrous proposal?


    Rafael Sabatini

  • "What my father says is always correct," replied the dutiful son.

British Dictionary definitions for dutiful



exhibiting or having a sense of duty
characterized by or resulting from a sense of dutya dutiful answer
Derived Formsdutifully, adverbdutifulness, 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

Word Origin and History for dutiful

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

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper