Definition of submissive in English:


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  • Ready to conform to the authority or will of others; meekly obedient or passive.

    ‘a submissive, almost sheeplike people’
    • ‘Dee believed the Angels to be obedient servants of God, submissive to the authority of Christ.’
    • ‘He shows that slaves who seemed submissive and passive were cleverly using the language of their masters and subverting it to their own ends.’
    • ‘Basically, I would be much more passive, submissive and altruistic.’
    • ‘He is likely quite uncomfortable about the prospects of appearing weak, submissive or passive.’
    • ‘They were not passive, submissive clients but positive enthusiasts, with a common agenda.’
    • ‘I think it is just they are not aware of pressurising you to make you conform or to make you submissive.’
    • ‘There is, and always has been, a lot more to women than the meek, submissive weaklings that we have been made out to be throughout the centuries.’
    • ‘She is warlike and aggressive, not submissive and unassertive.’
    • ‘If it is sweet, servile and submissive, a new dog could bully your first dog into a life of fear and despair.’
    • ‘The prisoners were all perfectly submissive and paid every deference to the wishes of those in whose custody they were placed.’
    • ‘Steve had played games with her mind, and she had been meek and submissive.’
    • ‘They must have given him some powerful drugs to have him so submissive and humble.’
    • ‘At the feast which follows the three bridegrooms wager on whose wife is the most docile and submissive.’
    • ‘But patients are not the unquestioning, submissive breed they once were.’
    • ‘I handed the boots, my letter and the reply to a pleasant, submissive sales assistant who went to fetch a manager.’
    • ‘It's too bad that some men feel they can only express their submissive side by taking on the identity of a woman.’
    • ‘She said he made the entire family proud by challenging the court and that he was never scared or submissive.’
    • ‘Gentle and debonair in manners, he knows how to be a submissive husband and cater to the needs of his sweetheart.’
    • ‘They seem to have all the makings of a weak, submissive government.’
    compliant, yielding, malleable, acquiescent, accommodating, amenable, tractable, manageable, unassertive, non-resisting, passive, obedient, biddable, dutiful, duteous, docile, ductile, pliant, meek, timid, mild, patient, resigned, forbearing, subdued, humble, self-effacing, spiritless, deferential, obsequious, servile, slavish, self-abasing, spineless, grovelling, lamblike, supine
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/səbˈmisiv/ /səbˈmɪsɪv/


Late 16th century from submission, on the pattern of pairs such as remission, remissive.