View synonyms for submissive


[ suhb-mis-iv ]


  1. inclined or ready to submit or yield to the authority of another; unresistingly or humbly obedient:

    submissive servants.

    Synonyms: amenable, pliant, compliant, tractable

    Antonyms: disobedient, rebellious

  2. marked by or indicating submission or a yielding to the authority of another:

    a submissive reply.

    Synonyms: subdued, tame, docile, patient, resigned, passive


  1. alsocalledcomma Informal, sub. the participant in a BDSM sexual encounter or relationship who is obedient, giving power and control to another participant.


/ səbˈmɪsɪv /


  1. of, tending towards, or indicating submission, humility, or servility

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Derived Forms

  • subˈmissiveness, noun
  • subˈmissively, adverb

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Other Words From

  • sub·missive·ly adverb
  • sub·missive·ness noun
  • nonsub·missive adjective
  • nonsub·missive·ly adverb
  • nonsub·missive·ness noun
  • quasi-sub·missive adjective
  • quasi-sub·missive·ly adverb
  • unsub·missive adjective
  • unsub·missive·ly adverb
  • unsub·missive·ness noun

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Word History and Origins

Origin of submissive1

First recorded in 1580–90; submiss + -ive

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Example Sentences

I’m not where they’re from and they can just beat the living crap out of people and think they’ll be submissive.

Being a stranger to Germany, Fazazi was, at the time, utterly dependent on her husband, and submissive to his views on where to go, and how to dress and behave.

“Ensure that you aren’t the first one to stray away from making eye contact—that’s a submissive gesture,” says Donaldson.

Many young women in the BDSM subculture find their way into a dominant role, whether coming from a submissive standpoint or not.

There are three types of cuckolded men: the submissive, forced bisexual, and the voyeurs.

They do it because they want women to be submissive, second-class citizen.

Demeanor: If your dog is really submissive, do you really want a bully?

She got into two serious dogfights with much larger male dogs, and showed zero signs of playing the female submissive.

Fashion—Do not be too submissive to the dictates of fashion; at the same time avoid oddity or eccentricity in your dress.

Instead of creating men, a perfect God ought to have created only docile and submissive angels.

Their profession requires vile and submissive slaves, who never have the audacity to reason.

A week passed thus: the count came twice to see me, and always preserved the same cold and submissive manner.

Folk made they submissive readily enough, and many country folk were thereon baptized.


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