obedient

obedient, docile, tractable, amenable, biddable mean submissive to the will, guidance, or control of another. Though applied chiefly to persons, they are sometimes extended to things.
Obedient implies due compliance with the commands or requests of a person or power whose authority one recognizes or accepts
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obedient to the law

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he seemed to have lost all power of will; he was like an obedient child— Maugham

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When applied to things it implies compulsion by a superior force or movement in accordance with natural law
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tides obedient to the moon

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and floating straight, obedient to the stream, was carried towards Corinth— Shak.

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faces of others seem like stars obedient to symmetrical laws— Spender

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Docile implies a responsiveness to teaching, but it stresses either a predisposition to submit to guidance or control or an indisposition to resist impositions or to rebel against authority
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that is a question which you must excuse my child from answering. Not, sir, from want of will, for she is doc-ile and obedient— Hudson

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whatever doctrine is best calculated to make the common people docile wage slaves— Shaw

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she is a gentle, docile person .... I think she can be molded into exactly what you would wish her to be— Gibbons

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Tractable, which is nearly as often applied to things as to persons and animals, suggests success or ease in handling or managing
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one of the most tractable liquid propellants is gasoline— Space Handbook

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Unlike docile, which in many ways it closely resembles, it seldom when applied to persons or animals implies a submissive temperament; thus, a docile child is always tractable, but a strong-willed child may prove tractable when he is wisely guided
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kept warning him that it really was pneumonia, and that if he wouldn't be tractable he might not get over it— Day

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a wave of rebelliousness ran through the countryside. Bulls which had always been tractable suddenly turned savage— George Orwell

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Amenable stresses a temperamental willingness or readiness to submit, not so much in the spirit of obedience as because of a desire to be agreeable or because of a natural openness of mind
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well, Joan had a broad brow; she thought things over; she was amenable to ideas— H. G. Wells

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one cannot say that Sean was amenable, but he was pliable, and more than that a wife does not need— Maurice Walsh

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the question they ask is, would he be amenable—would he play ball with the Regulars— New Republic

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Biddable, a more homely word than docile, is used chiefly of children
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well-behaved children, biddable, meek, neat about their clothes, and always mindful of the proprieties— Cather

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so used to being biddable that words and wishes said and shown by older folks were still like orders to her— Guthrie

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Analogous words: *compliant, acquiescent, resigned: submissive, subdued, *tame: deferential, obeisant (see corresponding nouns at HONOR)
Antonyms: disobedient: contumacious
Contrasted words: insubordinate, rebellious: *contrary, perverse, froward, wayward: recalcitrant, refractory, intractable, *unruly, ungovernable

New Dictionary of Synonyms. 2014.

Synonyms:

Look at other dictionaries:

  • obedient — OBEDIÉNT, Ă, obedienţi, te, adj. (livr.) Supus, ascultător. [pr.: di ent] – Din lat. obediens, ntis, it. obbediente. Trimis de RACAI, 21.10.2003. Sursa: DEX 98  OBEDIÉNT adj. v. ascultător, bun, cuminte, docil, plecat, supus …   Dicționar Român

  • Obedient — O*be di*ent, a. [OF. obedient, L. obediens, oboediens, entis. p. pr. of obedire, oboedire, to obey. See {Obey}.] Subject in will or act to authority; willing to obey; submissive to restraint, control, or command. [1913 Webster] And floating… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • obedient — [ō bē′dē ənt] adj. [OFr < L obediens, prp. of obedire,OBEY] obeying or willing to obey; submissive obediently adv. SYN. OBEDIENT suggests a giving in to the orders or instructions of one in authority or control [an obedient child ]; DOCILE… …   English World dictionary

  • obedient — (adj.) c.1200, from O.Fr. obedient (11c.), from L. obedientem (nom. obediens), prp. of oboedire to obey (see OBEY (Cf. obey)). Related: Obediently …   Etymology dictionary

  • obedient — I adjective acquiescent, amenable, attentive, behaved, biddable, complaisant, compilable, compliant, complying, conformable, conforming, controllable, dedicated, deferential, devoted, dicto audiens, docile, ductile, duteous, dutiful, faithful,… …   Law dictionary

  • obedient — [adj] well behaved; submissive acquiescent, amenable, at one’s beck and call*, attentive, biddable, complaisant, compliant, controllable, deferential, devoted, docile, docious, duteous, dutiful, faithful, governable, honoring, in one’s clutches* …   New thesaurus

  • obedient — ► ADJECTIVE ▪ willing to obey an order or submit to another s authority. DERIVATIVES obedience noun obediently adverb. ORIGIN from Latin oboedire obey …   English terms dictionary

  • obedient — o|be|di|ent [əˈbi:diənt] adj [Date: 1200 1300; : Old French; Origin: Latin, present participle of oboedire; OBEY] 1.) always doing what you are told to do, or what the law, a rule etc says you must do ≠ ↑disobedient ▪ an obedient child obedient… …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • obedient — adjective obviously, you want an obedient dog for security work Syn: compliant, acquiescent, tractable, amenable; dutiful, good, law abiding, deferential, respectful, duteous, well trained, well disciplined, manageable, governable; docile, tame,… …   Thesaurus of popular words

  • obedient — adjective Etymology: Middle English, from Anglo French, from Latin oboedient , oboediens, from present participle of oboedire to obey Date: 13th century submissive to the restraint or command of authority ; willing to obey • obediently adverb… …   New Collegiate Dictionary


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