Definition of docile in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈdäsəl/


Ready to accept control or instruction; submissive: a cheap and docile workforce
More example sentences
  • If this is not done, those of us who call ourselves citizens will in reality be nothing more than docile instruments in the hands of distant powers.
  • The drive was superb, tight, controllable, plenty of power but docile as a kitten after a big meal when simply pootling along.
  • One of the scientists said that when he fed the chemical to lab rats, they would become completely meek and docile.
compliant, obedient, pliant, dutiful, submissive, deferential, unassertive, cooperative, amenable, accommodating, biddable, malleable



Pronunciation: /ˈdäsəllē/
Example sentences
  • How docilely these people have lined up to be photographed!
  • At first, he had docilely complied, but it did not take long before he realized that he had become their favorite toy, and that his ‘supposed debt’ would never be wiped clean.
  • While they docilely accept the demands put forward by the employers, they see their main task as warding off and side-tracking the growth of resistance within the working class.


Pronunciation: /däˈsilədē/
Example sentences
  • Sheep remind people of such qualities as timidity, docility and gentleness in Chinese as well as Western culture.
  • She carried that sour expression on her face as she went out, considering her promise of docility.
  • He uses it as an example to describe how modern societies use similar techniques to control behavior and ensure docility.


Late 15th century (in the sense 'apt or willing to learn'): from Latin docilis, from docere 'teach'.

  • physician from Middle English:

    The Old English word for a medical doctor was leech (despite popular belief, nothing to do with the worm, but a word meaning ‘a healer’). Physician arrived in the early Middle Ages, and goes back to Greek phusis ‘nature’, the root also of physical (Late Middle English), physics (Late Middle English), and numerous other English words. A doctor (Middle English) was originally not a physician but any learned person able to give an authoritative opinion, especially one of the early Christian theologians. The word started referring specifically to a medical expert at the start of the 15th century. It comes from doctor, the Latin for ‘teacher’, also found in words such as docile (Late Middle English) ‘willing to learn’; document (Late Middle English) ‘official paper, proof’; and doctrine (Late Middle English), originally the action of teaching.

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: doc·ile

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