One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
Dutiful.‘a duteous vassal’
compliant, yielding, malleable, acquiescent, accommodating, amenable, tractable, manageable, unassertive, non-resisting, passive, obedient, biddable, dutiful, docile, ductile, pliant, meek, timid, mild, patient, resigned, forbearing, subdued, humble, self-effacing, spiritless, deferential, obsequious, servile, slavish, self-abasing, spineless, grovelling, lamblike, supineView synonyms
- ‘It is true that the majority physicians are duteous to their patients.’
- ‘Whenever Buckingham doth turn his hate Upon your grace [to the queen], but with all duteous love Doth cherish you and yours, God punish me With hate in those where I expect most love!’
- ‘Everything was changing its aspect: her husband's conduct, her own duteous feeling towards him, every struggle between them - and yet more, her whole relation to him.’
- ‘She is ever duteous when addressing them, but betrays her true character to the audience.’
Late 16th century: from duty, on the pattern of words such as bounteous.
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