Marina
Docile vs Submissive Whats the difference between docile and submissive ?

As i could get looking through the examples docile is more related to animals and pets , is it right?

Feb 24, 2018 3:30 PM
Comments · 4

These two words are really close. MiriamWebster.com gives these definitions

Docile
easily taught, easily led or managed

Submissive
to surrender or yield oneself to the authority or will of another
to permit oneself to be subjected to something

"Docile" is often used to talk about animals, but it can be said of humans too. "Submissive" is not said of animals, only people.In many, if not most, situations, you could probably use either word, but there are some nuances to think about to really get at what you are trying to say. I think of "docile" as being more passive than "submissive". When someone is docile, they are simply compliant, while submissive implies to me that they are actively choosing to obey or comply. "Docile" is a state of being, while "submissive" is a behavioral action or behavioral tendency; one can submit against one's better judgment, but to be docile implies that you don't even have such a judgment and just go along with whatever. Or maybe, "submissive" implies that one has an independent will that one is submitting to someone else's will, such as an authority figure, while "docile" implies that no such will exists.
February 24, 2018
@ John - Excellent explanation! :)
January 21, 2019
As far as I can tell, John`s answer  is good. Docile suggests more a character trait and submissive suggests more moment-specfic behaviors. It can be used with animals or people. A guard dog might be willing to tear the arm off an intruder, but at the same time be totally submissive to it´s owners. A kitten is a rather docile animal by contrast all the time. 
January 21, 2019
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Marina
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English, German, Russian
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