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adjective doc·ile \ˈdä-səl also -ˌsī(-ə)l, especially British ˈdō-ˌsī(-ə)l\

Simple Definition of docile

  • : easily taught, led, or controlled

Full Definition of docile

  1. 1 :  easily taught <a docile pupil>

  2. 2 :  easily led or managed :  tractable <a docile pony>

doc·ile·ly play \ˈdä-sə(l)-lē\ adverb
do·cil·i·ty play \dä-ˈsi-lə-tē, dō-\ noun

Examples of docile

  1. In the course of a single month, from Annie's arrival to her triumph in bridling the household despot, Helen [Keller] had grown docile, affectionate, and tirelessly intent on learning from moment to moment. —Cynthia Ozick, New Yorker, 16 & 23 June 2003

  2. Africanized honeybees look like the European honeybees now commonly found in our gardens, and like their relatives, they make honey. They are fairly docile when they are foraging, but they defend their nests ferociously. —Lynn Ocone, Sunset, February 1994

  3. His students were docile and eager to learn.

  4. <a docile young pony that went wherever it was led>

Origin of docile

Latin docilis, from docēre to teach; akin to Latin decēre to be fitting — more at decent

First Known Use: 15th century

Synonym Discussion of docile

obedient, docile, tractable, amenable mean submissive to the will of another. obedient implies compliance with the demands or requests of one in authority <obedient to the government>. docile implies a predisposition to submit readily to control or guidance <a docile child>. tractable suggests having a character that permits easy handling or managing <tractable animals>. amenable suggests a willingness to yield or cooperate because of a desire to be agreeable or because of a natural open-mindedness <amenable to new ideas>.

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