du·​ti·​ful | \ ˈdü-ti-fəl How to pronounce dutiful (audio) also ˈdyü- \

Definition of dutiful

1 : filled with or motivated by a sense of duty a dutiful child
2 : proceeding from or expressive of a sense of duty a dutiful effort

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Other Words from dutiful

dutifully \ ˈd(y)ü-​ti-​f(ə-​)lē How to pronounce dutifully (audio) \ adverb
dutifulness \ ˈd(y)ü-​ti-​fəl-​nəs How to pronounce dutifulness (audio) \ noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for dutiful



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Examples of dutiful in a Sentence

the dutiful way he took care of his sick mother the family showed a dutiful deference to their minister when he came to dinner
Recent Examples on the Web Many of these employees see themselves more as dutiful sons or daughters than caregivers. BostonGlobe.com, "Butler, 63, the New England market president for Newton-based Cigna, had to find time in the workday to call his dad in Bennington, Vt., and help him navigate the health care system. Butler also began driving 220 miles round trip to accompany him to medical procedures.," 18 Dec. 2019 Kate, seeing the Queen, gave her mother-in-law a dutiful curtsy. Chloe Foussianes, Town & Country, "See Princess Charlotte Curtsy to Queen Elizabeth as They Leave Church on Christmas Day," 26 Dec. 2019 The Glaisher of the film, by contrast, is a shy bachelor who pays dutiful visits to his parents and struggles to persuade his scientific comrades to take him seriously. Anthony Lane, The New Yorker, "The Fanciful Flamboyance of “The Aeronauts”," 29 Nov. 2019 The new movie, directed by Joachim Rønning from a script by Linda Woolverton, Micah Fitzerman-Blue and Noah Harpster, is yawningly dutiful in some respects and breathtakingly deranged in others. Justin Chang, Los Angeles Times, "Review: Angelina Jolie and Michelle Pfeiffer lock horns in ‘Mistress of Evil,’ an enjoyably deranged ‘Maleficent’ sequel," 15 Oct. 2019 Warren plays both sides of the character with authority, shifting gears effortlessly between cringing before Ike’s fists and ruling the stage with a joy that goes well beyond the dutiful. Kyle Smith, National Review, "On the Indestructibility of Tina Turner," 22 Nov. 2019 What should be soaring is instead lugubrious; what should be a ripping good yarn is instead dutiful and a little bit dull. Ann Hornaday, Houston Chronicle, "Splendid visuals can't save dull Netflix drama 'The King'," 30 Oct. 2019 Suddenly, Keefe emerged, fulfilling her role as the senator's dutiful and loyal body woman, holding off gawkers until Warren finished her call. Ed O'keefe, CBS News, "Is this the airport gate where the next president will be chosen?," 20 Sep. 2019 Centrists don’t just need to build a traditional party infrastructure, with MPs, local offices and dutiful but tame members. The Economist, "The centre cannot hold - the failure of Change UK and the atrophying of political thought," 19 June 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'dutiful.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of dutiful

1552, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for dutiful

Time Traveler

The first known use of dutiful was in 1552

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Statistics for dutiful

Last Updated

17 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Dutiful.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/dutiful. Accessed 20 January 2020.

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More Definitions for dutiful


How to pronounce dutiful (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of dutiful

: doing what is expected of you


du·​ti·​ful | \ ˈdü-ti-fəl How to pronounce dutiful (audio) , ˈdyü- \

Kids Definition of dutiful

: doing or showing the willingness to do what is expected or required a dutiful child

Other Words from dutiful

dutifully \ -​fə-​lē \ adverb

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More from Merriam-Webster on dutiful

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for dutiful

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with dutiful

Spanish Central: Translation of dutiful

Nglish: Translation of dutiful for Spanish Speakers

Comments on dutiful

What made you want to look up dutiful? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


not to be intimidated or subdued

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