subservient

[suhb-sur-vee-uhnt]
adjective
1.
serving or acting in a subordinate capacity; subordinate.
2.
servile; excessively submissive; obsequious: subservient persons; subservient conduct.
3.
useful in promoting a purpose or end.

Origin:
1625–35; < Latin subservient- (stem of subserviēns, present participle of subservīre to subserve), equivalent to sub- sub- + servi-, stem of servīre to serve + -ent -ent

subservience, subserviency, noun
subserviently, adverb
unsubservient, adjective
unsubserviently, adverb
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
subservient (səbˈsɜːvɪənt)
 
adj
1.  obsequious in behaviour or attitude
2.  serving as a means to an end
3.  a less common word for subordinate
 
[C17: from Latin subserviēns complying with, from subservīre to subserve]
 
sub'serviently
 
adv
 
sub'servience
 
n
 
sub'serviency
 
n

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

subservient
1632, "useful, serviceable," from L. subservientem (nom. subserviens), prp. of subservire "assist, lend support," from sub "under" + servire "serve." The meaning "slavishly obedient" is first recorded 1794.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
All the life in the book is not subservient to this tragedy.
Countries are no long subservient to the waves of fortune.
Under many regimes, government subsidies have made the press politically
  subservient.
He's several hundred yards away in a clearing, commanding attention from more
  subservient members of his clan.
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