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 unsubmissive

Historical Examples of unsubmissive

  • The former was ever meek and feminine, the latter fierce and unsubmissive.

  • It bears the date of April 10th, being the very next day after he had written to Reynolds in so unsubmissive a tone.

    Life of John Keats

    William Michael Rossetti

  • How could I remain impenitent and unsubmissive when for my faults an innocent man stood exposed in contumely to the public gaze?

    King John of Jingalo

    Laurence Housman

  • At times he sulked, at times he affected a cold dignity, and at times a virile anger swayed him at her unsubmissive silences.

    The Wife of Sir Isaac Harman

    H. G. (Herbert George) Wells

  • If you give a boy the education of a girl, or a girl the education of a boy, the result will be an unsubmissive or degraded being.

British Dictionary definitions for unsubmissive



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 unsubmissive



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