Skip to main content

Tame vs Subdued vs Submissive

Tamesubduedsubmissive are comparable when they mean docile and tractable or incapable of asserting one’s will either permanently or for the time being.

Tame implies opposition to wild and in its basic sense applies chiefly to animals that have been domesticated and therefore accustomed to control by men. In extended use it also applies to persons, or less directly to the acts and words of persons, whose wills have been broken or who have allowed themselves to be dominated by the will of another.

Often the term implies little more than a temperamental lack of proper spirit or independence, or undue docility or timidity.

Subdued stresses quietness and in its most general sense implies a toning down with a loss or veiling of all vehemence or intensity. In reference to persons, their acts, words, or characters, it implies a real or apparent domination by or subjection to another, or a similar response to circumstances, and a resulting quietness or meekness that suggests a broken will, complete dependence, or excessive timorousness.

Submissive implies the state of mind of one who has yielded his will to control by another and who unquestioningly or humbly obeys what is ordered or accepts what is given.