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[meek] /mik/
adjective, meeker, meekest.
humbly patient or docile, as under provocation from others.
overly submissive or compliant; spiritless; tame.
Obsolete. gentle; kind.
Origin of meek
1150-1200; Middle English meke, meoc < Old Norse mjūkr soft, mild, meek
Related forms
meekly, adverb
meekness, noun
overmeek, adjective
overmeekly, adverb
overmeekness, noun
1. forbearing; yielding; unassuming; pacific, calm, soft. See gentle. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for meek
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Bian'ca, the younger daughter of Baptista of Pad'ua, as gentle and meek as her sister Katherine was violent and irritable.

  • Anaxagoras retained his usual bland expression and meek dignity.

    Philothea Lydia Maria Child
  • Mr. meek was not very well, and the doctor had advised him to take a glass of beer occasionally for his stomachs sake.

  • But that mild and meek man had a certain strength of pertinacity.

    Within the Law Marvin Dana
  • There were gorgeous blue jays and orioles in the trees and meek gray doves in the hedges.

    Girls of Highland Hall Carolyn Watson Rankin
British Dictionary definitions for meek


patient, long-suffering, or submissive in disposition or nature; humble
spineless or spiritless; compliant
an obsolete word for gentle
Derived Forms
meekly, adverb
meekness, noun
Word Origin
C12: related to Old Norse mjūkr amenable; compare Welsh mwytho to soften
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for meek

c.1200, "gentle, quiet, unaggressive; benevolent, kind; courteous, humble, unassuming;" of a woman, "modest," from a Scandinavian source (cf. Old Norse mjukr "soft, pliant, gentle"), from Proto-Germanic *meukaz (cf. Gothic muka-modei "humility," Dutch muik "soft"), of uncertain origin, perhaps from PIE *meug- "slippery, slimy." In the Bible, it translates Latin mansuetus from Vulgate (see mansuetude). Sense of "submissive" is from mid-14c.


"those who are meek," c.1200, from meek (adj.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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