Definition of docile in US English:



  • Ready to accept control or instruction; submissive.

    ‘a cheap and docile workforce’
    • ‘The goats are tiny and docile, and suffer well the pats and pokes of oversugared junior Americans.’
    • ‘This must have been what happened in England because we became docile servants of the Normans and fought their wars for them.’
    • ‘Others in the queue were excited primary school children, waiting in a surprisingly docile and patient way.’
    • ‘While the Greek press is far from docile, it has generally been extremely supportive of the Games.’
    • ‘One of the scientists said that when he fed the chemical to lab rats, they would become completely meek and docile.’
    • ‘However, Adrian points out that even the most docile, harmless household pet can turn into a monster.’
    • ‘They look like teddy bears, they are very docile and friendly, don't have escapologist tendencies and are quite small.’
    • ‘Just about anyone who was not entirely docile and subservient to the ruling ethos could be locked up for life.’
    • ‘Next morning, I joined a walking ride and the cowboys, or wranglers, as they call them here, gave me a very docile horse.’
    • ‘She has become more docile and sleepy in her old age, although sometimes she still gets a burst of energy, which is wonderful.’
    • ‘It was hoped by employers that the new working class would be more docile and amenable than the old.’
    • ‘Everyone who has ever been to the city's squares or parks will remember the lovely and docile pigeons.’
    • ‘Fortunately he turned out to be remarkably docile and highly trained.’
    • ‘You can be solitary and courageous, also docile and diplomatic when needed.’
    • ‘The drive was superb, tight, controllable, plenty of power but docile as a kitten after a big meal when simply pootling along.’
    • ‘But those who had the guts to get close say that both the horses are docile and riding them is a wonderful experience.’
    • ‘They are a very docile animal which in itself favours them to herd owners.’
    • ‘It's going to be tough finding a dog as placid and docile as Sue, in fact, I don't think we will ever see the likes of her again.’
    • ‘They turned to run, but the creatures seemed docile and did not attack.’
    • ‘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.’
    compliant, obedient, pliant, dutiful, willing, passive, submissive, deferential, tame, meek, mild, lamblike, unassertive, unresisting, yielding, cooperative, amenable, accommodating, biddable, persuadable, ductile, manageable, controllable, tractable, malleable, manipulable, easily manipulated, easily handled, like putty in one's hands
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Late 15th century (in the sense ‘apt or willing to learn’): from Latin docilis, from docere ‘teach’.