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[dos-uh l; British doh-sahyl] /ˈdɒs əl; British ˈdoʊ saɪl/
easily managed or handled; tractable:
a docile horse.
readily trained or taught; teachable.
Origin of docile
1475-85; < Latin docilis readily taught, equivalent to doc(ēre) to teach + -ilis -ile
Related forms
docilely, adverb
[do-sil-i-tee, doh-] /dɒˈsɪl ɪ ti, doʊ-/ (Show IPA),
1. manageable, malleable; obedient. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for docile
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • She acknowledged his praise with a momentary choke in her voice, and a bend of her head which was not without a docile dignity.

    A Houseful of Girls Sarah Tytler
  • What a docile, obedient, and believing pupil did I pledge myself to be!

    A Day's Ride Charles James Lever
  • The docile and alarmed husband did as instructed; and lo, the black horse flew off with a great noise.

  • Her desperation must have been extreme, and Gaspar Ruiz was a docile fellow.

    A Set of Six Joseph Conrad
  • But, docile in everything, she would not go back to her friend till he returned.

British Dictionary definitions for docile


easy to manage, control, or discipline; submissive
(rare) ready to learn; easy to teach
Derived Forms
docilely, adverb
docility (dəʊˈsɪlɪtɪ) noun
Word Origin
C15: from Latin docilis easily taught, from docēre to teach
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
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Word Origin and History for docile

late 15c., "easily taught," from Italian or French docile, from Latin docilis "easily taught," from docere "teach" (see doctor). Sense of "obedient, submissive" first recorded 1774.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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