inclined or ready to submit or yield to the authority of another; unresistingly or humbly obedient: submissive servants.
marked by or indicating submission or an instance of yielding to the authority of another: a submissive reply.

Origin of submissive

First recorded in 1580–90; submiss + -ive
Related formssub·mis·sive·ly, adverbsub·mis·sive·ness, nounnon·sub·mis·sive, adjectivenon·sub·mis·sive·ly, adverbnon·sub·mis·sive·ness, nounqua·si-sub·mis·sive, adjectivequa·si-sub·mis·sive·ly, adverbun·sub·mis·sive, adjectiveun·sub·mis·sive·ly, adverbun·sub·mis·sive·ness, noun

Synonyms for submissive

Antonyms for submissive Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for submissively

Historical Examples of submissively

  • I went with him submissively; I thought of nothing but the joy of my life, the love of my lover.

  • "I will interrupt you no more," said my mother, submissively, for she was curious.

  • Caeri submissively followed the orders of his brother in command.

    Gomez Arias

    Joaqun Telesforo de Trueba y Coso

  • "Now tell me what you wish me to do, and why you wish me to do it," said the lover, submissively.

    Victor's Triumph

    Mrs. E. D. E. N. Southworth

  • "Without it be Mr. Cashel's pleasure to detain me," said the doctor, submissively.

    Roland Cashel

    Charles James Lever

British Dictionary definitions for submissively



of, tending towards, or indicating submission, humility, or servility
Derived Formssubmissively, adverbsubmissiveness, 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 submissively



1580s, "inclined to submit," from Latin submiss-, past participle stem of submittere (see submission) + -ive. Masochistic sexual sense is attested by 1969. As a noun in this sense, by 1985. Related: Submissively; submissiveness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper