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


deferent, deferential, regardful, respectful


disrespectful, undutiful

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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

Momoa also gets to tap into his inner lunk, frequently bouncing off of Heard’s dutiful and squarish Mera or Wilson’s self-serious Orm with physical comedy or barbed comments about his (lack of) refinement. Alex Abad-santos, Vox, "Aquaman goes for broke and lands somewhere between overstuffed marine opera and cheesy comic book fun," 11 Dec. 2018 Instead, a commitment to dutiful citizenship, equal access to rights and justice, and integrity should shape our daily choices and interactions with others. Jenn M. Jackson, Teen Vogue, "Terry Crews's Family Comment Perpetuates Toxic Masculinity," 9 Mar. 2019 This dutiful canine belonged to the man beside him, Vincent Massey. Chloe Foussianes, Town & Country, "Queen Elizabeth Once Let a Dog Carry Her Handbag," 1 Mar. 2019 How did self-interest—the pursuit of private happiness—supplant Kant’s dutiful obedience, natural law, the ancient virtues, and the Christian ethic of self-denial? Jeffrey Collins, WSJ, "‘Power, Pleasure, and Profit’ Review: Self-Mastery Versus Self-Interest," 5 Oct. 2018 That makes the relentlessly upbeat ending — with its dutiful deus ex machina and an exhortation to just forget your worries since tomorrow has to be better — land with a thud. Alissa Wilkinson, Vox, "Mary Poppins Returns — with a sadder story and forgettable songs," 12 Dec. 2018 The dutiful woman rarely looked beyond the front door. Alan Richman, New York Times, "Still the Boss of Le Bernardin, Maguy Le Coze Strides On," 5 June 2018 There was a fitful attempt to write a biography of Frederick Douglass, and a dutiful visit to the Soviet Union. Tobi Haslett, The New Yorker, "The Man Who Led the Harlem Renaissance—and His Hidden Hungers," 11 May 2018 Getty ImagesWPA Pool Yesterday, Prince Harry took on the role of dutiful husband and stepped back to let wife Meghan Markle have her moment in the spotlight. Lucy Wood, Marie Claire, "Watch Prince Harry Get Caught Sneaking Samosas From Meghan Markle's 'Together: Our Community Cookbook' Launch," 21 Sep. 2018

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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Statistics for dutiful

Last Updated

23 Apr 2019

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Time Traveler for dutiful

The first known use of dutiful was in 1552

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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

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with dutiful

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for 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).


to move with exaggerated bouncy motions

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