When animals live in packs, one animal is usually the dominant leader, while the others fall into more submissive roles. To be submissive is to obey or yield to someone else.

When you are submissive, you submit to someone else's will, which literally, you put your own desires lower than theirs. You can see this in the Latin root of submit, submittere, which is formed by sub- "under" + mittere "send, put."

Definitions of submissive
  1. adjective
    inclined or willing to submit to orders or wishes of others or showing such inclination
    submissive servants”
    “a submissive reply”
    “replacing troublemakers with more submissive people”
    inclined to timidity or lack of self-confidence
    showing humiliation or submissiveness
    bowed, bowing
    showing an excessively deferential manner
    meek, spiritless
    evidencing little spirit or courage; overly submissive or compliant
    cringing, groveling, grovelling, wormlike, wormy
    totally submissive
    dominated, henpecked
    harassed by persistent nagging
    dutifully complying with the commands or instructions of those in authority
    marked by meekness or modesty; not arrogant or prideful
    subject or submissive to authority or the control of another
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    tending to domineer
    authoritarian, dictatorial, overbearing
    expecting unquestioning obedience
    autocratic, bossy, dominating, high-and-mighty, magisterial, peremptory
    offensively self-assured or given to exercising usually unwarranted power
    blustery, bullying
    noisily domineering; tending to browbeat others
    cavalier, high-handed
    given to haughty disregard of others
    heavy-handed, roughshod
    unjustly domineering
    oppressive, tyrannical, tyrannous
    marked by unjust severity or arbitrary behavior
    having or showing an exaggerated opinion of your importance, ability, etc
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  2. adjective
    abjectly submissive; characteristic of a slave or servant
    “she has become submissive and subservient”
    synonyms: slavish, subservient
    submissive or fawning in attitude or behavior
Word Family

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