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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
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. 2014.
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Examples from the web for menial
  • So he worked at menial jobs, wrote in his free time and sent out as many as 40 stories at once.
  • As she would not marry him, he put her to all sorts of menial work, such as washing the dirty linen.
  • Hire an undergrad on an hourly basis to help with the menial tasks.
  • Players and critics alike have noted the game's resemblance to a job, and a fairly menial job at that.
  • In Japan, apprentices may spend two or three years doing menial kitchen tasks, then learning to make sushi rice.
  • Too much pressure, he assumed, for such a menial role.
  • More recent arrivals moan that it is tough to find work, even the menial sort.
  • Not so long ago, executives would do meaningful green jobs for menial pay.
  • With labour in demand, some get black-market jobs as menial workers or on farms.
  • But pessimists reckon that having the best and brightest working abroad, often in menial jobs, is a dreadful loss.
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
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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
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