follow Dictionary.com

Denotation vs. Connotation

menial

[mee-nee-uh l, meen-yuh l] /ˈmi ni əl, ˈmin yəl/
adjective
1.
lowly and sometimes degrading:
menial work.
2.
servile; submissive:
menial attitudes.
3.
pertaining to or suitable for domestic servants; humble:
menial furnishings.
noun
4.
a domestic servant.
5.
a servile person.
Origin of menial
1350-1400
1350-1400; Middle English meynyal < Anglo-French me(i)nial. See meiny, -al1
Related forms
menially, adverb
nonmenial, adjective
nonmenially, adverb
unmenial, adjective
unmenially, adverb
Synonyms
2. fawning. See servile. 4. attendant, underling, hireling, lackey.
Antonyms
1. dignified. 2. proud.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for menial
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • I am sensible of both—command me the most menial services, I will do all—nay, take my life; but, oh!

    Gomez Arias Joaqun Telesforo de Trueba y Coso
  • And there were other things, and worse,—menial services of the lowest kind.

    Dr. Sevier George W. Cable
  • Last week a menial carelessly knocked over one of the cages and several Fafli escaped.

    Category Phoenix Boyd Ellanby
  • But Wardo, on his special mission, was exempt from menial tasks.

    Nicanor - Teller of Tales C. Bryson Taylor
  • For a while, it would be necessary for him to do menial work, but in the end, he would establish himself among these people.

    Flight From Tomorrow Henry Beam Piper
British Dictionary definitions for menial

menial

/ˈmiːnɪəl/
adjective
1.
consisting of or occupied with work requiring little skill, esp domestic duties such as cleaning
2.
of, involving, or befitting servants
3.
servile
noun
4.
a domestic servant
5.
a servile person
Derived Forms
menially, adverb
Word Origin
C14: from Anglo-Norman meignial, from Old French meinie household. See meiny
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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for menial
adj.

late 14c., "pertaining to a household," from Anglo-French meignial, from Old French mesnie "household," earlier mesnede, from Vulgar Latin *mansionata, from Latin mansionem "dwelling" (see mansion). Sense of "lowly, humble, suited to a servant" is recorded by 1670s.

n.

"domestic servant," late 14c., meynyal; see menial (adj.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for menial

Most English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for menial

8
11
Scrabble Words With Friends

Nearby words for menial