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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
  • He looked all right – middle-aged, docile features, trustworthy.
  • Snails would seem fairly docile creatures.
  • Pink, he had learned in his studies, tends to make one docile.
  • Our docile hands lay in our laps.
  • They wonder why their faculty have been so docile.
  • For such an abrupt encounter, she looked incredibly relaxed and docile.
  • In fact, most turkeys are docile and shy.
  • Morse says several teams are out looking for the social but docile Patas monkeys, and that they are no threat to humans.
  • She will be replaced by a more docile steed.
  • We can seek to challenge and annoy, as we need not stay docile and quiet.
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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