slavishly submissive or obsequious; fawning:
characteristic of, proper to, or customary for slaves; abject:
yielding slavishly; truckling (usually followed by to).
extremely imitative, especially in the arts; lacking in originality.
being in slavery; oppressed.
of, pertaining to, or involving slaves or servants.
of or pertaining to a condition of servitude or property ownership in which a person is held as a slave or as partially enslaved:
medieval rebellions against servile laws.
1350–1400; Middle English
< Latin servīlis,
equivalent to serv-
(stem of servīre
to be a slave) + -īlis -ile
servilely, adverbservility, servileness, nounnonservile, adjectivenonservilely, adverbnonservileness, nounoverservile, adjectiveoverservilely, adverboverservileness, nounoverservility, nounpseudoservile, adjectivepseudoservilely, adverbunservile, adjectiveunservilely, adverb
cringing, sycophantic. Servile, menial, obsequious, slavish
characterize one who behaves like a slave or an inferior. Servile
suggests cringing, fawning, and abject submission: servile responses to questions. Menial
applies to that which is considered undesirable drudgery: the most menial tasks. Obsequious
implies the ostentatious subordination of oneself to the wishes of another, either from fear or from hope of gain: an obsequious waiter. Slavish
stresses the dependence and labori-ous toil of one who follows or obeys without question: slavish attentiveness to orders. 2.
mean, base, low.