- inclined or ready to submit or yield to the authority of another; unresistingly or humbly obedient: submissive servants.
- marked by or indicating submission or an instance of yielding to the authority of another: a submissive reply.
- of, tending towards, or indicating submission, humility, or servility
adj.1580s, “inclined to submit,” from Latin submiss-, past participle stem of submittere (see submission) + -ive. Masochistic sexual sense is attested by 1969. As a noun in this sense, by 1985. Related: Submissively; submissiveness.