Submittal – Meaning, Origin and Usage

Did your boss just ask you to review the accounts for submittal to a client?

This post unpacks the meaning and origin of this expression.


The word ‘submittal’ means that you yield to someone else. If you offer your submittal to an authority, you’re allowing them to control your life. It’s common for alcoholics to offer their submittal to a higher power to help them through the recovery process.

Submittal’ also means you’re submitting something, such as a report, to someone for approval. For instance, the submittal of your tax return to the IRS requires you to list your tax obligation for the previous financial year.

A submittal usually refers to a document, but it can refer to a person’s will.

Example Usage

“I must remember to send my submittal to the tax man this afternoon. The deadline is today, and I don’t want them to penalize me for a late return.’

“I offered total submittal to a higher power during my recovery. It’s what managed to get me through this. There is a comfort in knowing that it’s out of your hands.”

“There is a problem with your submittal. You posted it late, and we missed the deadline. Now you’ll have to pay the penalty in the form of a $100 fine.”

“Your submittal is early for a change, thanks. I appreciate it when people don’t leave things to the last minute. It makes life easier for me and stops me from doing double work.”

“Please send over the customer accounts for submittal to the finance department. They’ve been waiting for them for the last two days.”

“The IRS says there’s something wrong with my submittal. Are you sure you did everything by the books? The last thing I need this year is a tax audit.”


The early origins of ‘submit’ come from the 14th century, which means ‘To place oneself under the control of someone else or to yield to their authority.’ It comes from the Latin word ‘submittere,’ meaning to lower down, yield, or reduce.’

The transitive use of the word meaning ‘to refer to another for their consideration’ first appeared in the 1550s.

The term ‘submittal’ originates from the 17th century. The first mention of the word is in the Century Dictionary in 1866, where it describes the ‘act or process of submitting.’

Phrases Similar to Submittal

  • Let go.
  • Commit to others.

Phrases Opposite to Submittal

  • Ressistance.

What is the Correct Saying?

  • Submittal.

Ways People May Say Submittal Incorrectly

The term ‘submittal’ refers to physical or metaphysical submission to something else. It can refer to a person, authority, or spiritual power. Many people use it to refer to religious submittal, but that’s not the only use of the word. The term shouldn’t describe the thing you’re submitting.

Acceptable Ways to Phrase Submittal

You can use the expression ‘submittal’ when referring to something you submit to another person or entity. The phrase suits professional and social use, but it’s more commonly found in workplace settings. Your boss might ask you if you completed your submittal of the company returns to the tax authorities. Your partner could ask you if you completed your submittal to Social Security.

‘Submittal’ refers to the act of submitting your will to something or forwarding a document. Typically, it refers to paperwork, but it can also refer to your mind, spirit, or body. For instance, you could offer total submittal to a higher power when recovering from addiction.

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