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Docile Definition – Meaning and Usage In A Sentence

Docile Definition – Meaning and Usage In A Sentence

People have been telling me that I have a “docile” personality since I was young, and I have always smiled, accepting this statement as a compliment. It was not until later that I found out that the word can be negative depending on the subtext used. If you have always thought of “docile” as a positive statement, then read on about docile definition and meaning to understand the word better.

Docile: The word is an adjective that means “easy to manage or discipline.” Replace the word submissive with the word “docile.” If you describe a person or an animal as “docile” in sentences, they are not aggressive, easy to control, and quiet. Use “docile” to replace “teachable.”

All the statements above are positive, so most people assume that the word “docile” is positive. However, there is more to the word that you need to know; it has both positive and negative undertones. Read on to understand the origin, pronunciation, best way to use the word whether you are complimenting or rebuking someone, and much more about “docile.”

kid writing focusWhat Is The Definition Of Docile?

Docile is an adjective that describes a person who “yields to supervision, direction, management, or are traceable.” When using this statement in a sentence, replace words like “obedient,” “tame,” or amenable.” Such groups of people are ready to react to suggestions or influences.

Here are example sentences:

  • Joan was a shy and docile teenager.
  • Smith bought a docile pony for his son’s seventh birthday.
  • The vice president remembers that people considered him a docile and undemanding kid at a young age.

However, the word “docile” can also be negative to mean someone or a passive animal. When someone is passive, they do not have the energy or the will. Such people are peaceful and resistant to responding to injustice. Calmness is their favorite virtue.

In this case, being “docile” is not a positive trait but a word used by a critic to show someone who is overly obedient and can do anything when requested without being aggressive. There are times in life when the best way to handle a situation is by fighting back, and during such times, being “docile” is not acceptable. So, yes, people can take advantage of you, and that’s applying this word in a negative setting.

Here are example sentences:

  • If they came together, the enslaved people could defeat their master, but since they are docile, that is not possible.
  • Charlotte is a docile wife, and that is why she did not have the guts to question her husband about the unfair way he treated their son.
  • We met a timid and docile tribe that did not want to associate with the outsiders during our tour.

What Is The Meaning Of Docile?

Docile: (adjective) means a person or animal ready to learn and easy to teach. If you are or you know someone who is teachable, willing to learn, and obey, you can use the word “docile” to describe them. 

Here are example sentences:

  • Teachers are always happy when they find a docile student.
  • Most dog lovers only buy their dogs from Benjamin since he has a reputation for breeding docile pets.
  • Sophia is the best student in our class since she is docile.

Synonyms Of The Word Docile

Learn about words with the same or near meaning as the word docile below.

  • Obedient
  • Amenable
  • Accommodating
  • Dutiful
  • Humble
  • Yielding
  • Laid-back
  • Modest
  • Shy
  • Meek
  • Trainable
  • Bright
  • Intelligent
  • Qualified
  • Smart

Antonyms Of The Word Docile

Learn of the words that have opposite meanings to the word docile.

  • Disobedient
  • Restive
  • Unruly
  • Defiant
  • Disobedient
  • Trying
  • Wayward
  • Headstrong
  • Perverse
  • Wild
  • Naughty
  • Resistant
  • Troubled
  • Wild
  • Spirited

Words That Rhyme With Docile

Learn the words that have the same sound as docile below.

  • Mobile
  • Profile
  • Tackle
  • Bundle
  • Hostile
  • Circle
  • Whistle
  • Triple
  • Puddle
  • Bridle
  • Table
  • Battle
  • Final
  • Hurdle
  • Jumble

How Does Docile Compare With Timid, Tractable, And Gentle

Docile vs. Timid: A common word that people use interchangeably with “docile” is “timid.” But the two words have different meanings. “Docile” describes someone meek and compliant, while “timid” means lacking in courage or confidence.

Docile vs. Tractable: The word “docile” and “tractable” are commonly used interchangeably. Though these words have near meaning, they are not identical. “Docile” means someone or something that is obedient and ready to accept instruction.” In contrast, the word “tractable” means “capable of getting shaped or malleable.” The word “docile” refers to people or animals. While the word “tractable” refers to “people, animals, or things.”

Docile vs. Gentle: Another word used interchangeably with “docile” is “gentle.” Though these two words are synonyms, they have different meanings, and learning them will help you better know how to use the word in your sentences. Docile means yielding control, direction, or management, while on the other hand, the word gentle means someone considerate or kindly dispositional.

How To Use Docile In A Sentence

It is vital to avoid the word “docile” in your sentences unless you understand how to use it. Remember, this is one of the few English words that can be positive or negative depending on how you use it in your sentences. Regardless of how you use it, the word “docile” is an adjective.

Family Words of Docile

Learn the family words of the word “docile” that will help you better know how to use the word in different parts of speeches.

Docilely: Adverb – Submissively or obediently

Here are example sentences:

  • She did not expect the last minutes by the couple, but she sat and listened to their suggestion docilely.
  • The new army recruits docility nodded as their supervisor read the instructions they needed to follow.
  • The villagers knew that they were an afterthought to the chief, so their docilely went along with anything he said.

Docileness: Noun – The quality of being docile or teachable

Here are example sentences:

  • The security guard’s docileness made people take advantage of him.
  • The docileness nature of the tribe is what has made them wealthy.
  • The docileness of our new neighbors is refreshing.

10 Examples Of Docile In A Sentence

Are you wondering how to use “docile” in your sentences? Here are ten sentence examples with the word “docile” to give you an idea of how you can use the word in your sentences.

  1. After ten years of imprisonment, he was surprised to meet with his loud wife; the woman she remembered was docile and silent.
  2. The three friends had a wager to find out whose wife was not docile and submissive.
  3. Snakes are classified as dangerous species, while in real cases, some are docile.
  4. It was strange how the docile older sibling was the one who inherited most of their haired father’s wealth.
  5. Though many qualified candidates applied for the job, Leon chose to hire those who seemed docile and eager to learn the business.
  6. The substitute teacher was sad that the students were not docile but rude.
  7. The veterinarian assured me that my dog would be more docile with me after some time.
  8. My cat Toby is docile with people; it is pets that he does not like.
  9. It was the docile nature of Moses that attracted his wife to him.
  10. I hate how some workers can be docile and will not raise the alarm when the management is wrong.

How Do You Spell Docile?

The correct spelling of the word “docile” is “D.O.C.I.L.E.”

 How Do You Pronounce Docile?

The correct pronunciation of the word “docile” is “[dˈə͡ʊsa͡ɪl], [dˈə‍ʊsa‍ɪl], and [d_ˈəʊ_s_aɪ_l].” You can also pronounce it “dow.sile.”

If you want to appear professional or as someone who knows what they are saying, then it is vital to learn the proper spelling of a word. You will not embarrass yourself by mispronouncing when communicating with your friends, family, or peers.

How Many Syllables Are In Docile?

The word “docile” has two syllables “doc.ile” The stressed syllable of the word is “doc.”

History & Etymology Of Docile

The origin of the word “docile” is from the Latin word “docere,” which means “to teach.” As the Latin language evolved, so did the word, and it changed to “docilis” but retained the same meaning. Later the French and Italians borrowed the word and used it as “docilis.” Then the English language borrowed the word and used it to mean “easily taught or learned.”

Other words that have the same origin with Docile:

  • Doctrine
  • Document
  • Doctor and Docent

men home deskWhen Was Docile First Used?

The word “docile” was first used in the 15th century. When first introduced to English, the word was used to mean someone or an animal that is easy to teach.


“Docile” has numerous meanings and definitions and so it is vital to learn them and how to use them in your sentences. This type of word can be good or bad depending on usage, and if you are not cautious, you might misuse it, which could lead to you passing the wrong information. But if you take the time to read the word and use it in different settings, which will help you communicate better and enable you to use the word as required.