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Supposedly vs. Supposably


[sur-vuh nt] /ˈsɜr vənt/
a person employed by another, especially to perform domestic duties.
a person in the service of another.
a person employed by the government:
a public servant.
Origin of servant
1175-1225; Middle English < Old French, noun use of present participle of servir to serve; see -ant
Related forms
servantless, adjective
servantlike, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for servant
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • And how can she imagine that a servant would do it as well as you?

    The Memoires of Casanova, Complete Jacques Casanova de Seingalt
  • At length the servant returned, saying his master was now ready to see them.

    Philothea Lydia Maria Child
  • Young man and servant passed out and into the passage beyond.

    The Hill Horace Annesley Vachell
  • And what boldness is this for a scrub of a servant to speak in such a way before her master?

  • Entering and knocking at the door, they were met by a servant girl.

British Dictionary definitions for servant


a person employed to work for another, esp one who performs household duties
Derived Forms
servant-like, adjective
Word Origin
C13: via Old French, from servant serving, from servir to serve
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 servant

c.1200, "personal or domestic attendant," from Old French servant "servant; foot-soldier," noun use of servant "serving, waiting," present participle of servir "to attend, wait upon" (see serve (v.)).

Meaning "professed lover, one devoted to the service of a lady" is from mid-14c. In North American colonies and U.S., the usual designation for "slave" 17c.-18c. (in 14c.-15c. and later in Biblical translations the word often was used to render Latin servus, Greek doulos "slave"). Public servant is attested from 1670s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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