servile


servile

adjective

  1. slavishly submissive or obsequious; fawning: servile flatterers.
  2. characteristic of, proper to, or customary for slaves; abject: servile obedience.
  3. yielding slavishly; truckling (usually followed by to).
  4. extremely imitative, especially in the arts; lacking in originality.
  5. being in slavery; oppressed.
  6. of, relating to, or involving slaves or servants.
  7. of or relating to a condition of servitude or property ownership in which a person is held as a slave or as partially enslaved: medieval rebellions against servile laws.

adjective

  1. obsequious or fawning in attitude or behaviour; submissive
  2. of or suitable for a slave
  3. existing in or relating to a state of slavery
  4. (when postpositive, foll by to) submitting or obedient

adj.late 14c., from Latin servilis “of a slave” (as in Servile Wars, name given to the slave revolts in the late Roman Republic), also “slavish, servile,” from servus “slave” (see serve (v.)). Earliest sense was legal, servile work being forbidden on the Sabbath; sense of “cringing, fawning” first recorded c.1600.

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