Definition of submissive in English:

Share this entry


Pronunciation: /səbˈmisiv/


Ready to conform to the authority or will of others; meekly obedient or passive.
Example sentences
  • Dee believed the Angels to be obedient servants of God, submissive to the authority of Christ.
  • He shows that slaves who seemed submissive and passive were cleverly using the language of their masters and subverting it to their own ends.
  • Basically, I would be much more passive, submissive and altruistic.
compliant, yielding, acquiescent, unassertive, passive, obedient, biddable, dutiful, docile, pliant;
informal under someone's thumb



Pronunciation: /səbˈmisivlē/
Example sentences
  • It means publicly reprimanding politicians who insist that ‘as Americans’ we should submissively yield to whatever the Supreme Court decides.
  • Her Majesty sits squat on her throne, her head crowned, a sceptre in one hand, an orb in the other, and two lions stretch submissively at the imperial feet while she stares with bronze eyes at the distant horizons of Empire.
  • When I arrived at the enclosures, he was inside, crouched submissively alongside a huge silver-backed male.


Late 16th century: from submission, on the pattern of pairs such as remission, remissive.

Words that rhyme with submissive

missive, omissive, permissive

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: sub·mis·sive

Share this entry

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.

Related Words