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meek

[meek] /mik/
adjective, meeker, meekest.
1.
humbly patient or docile, as under provocation from others.
2.
overly submissive or compliant; spiritless; tame.
3.
Obsolete. gentle; kind.
Origin of meek
1150-1200
1150-1200; Middle English meke, meoc < Old Norse mjūkr soft, mild, meek
Related forms
meekly, adverb
meekness, noun
overmeek, adjective
overmeekly, adverb
overmeekness, noun
Synonyms
1. forbearing; yielding; unassuming; pacific, calm, soft. See gentle.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for meekness
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls.

  • Though not a revengeful character, he had not that meekness which never resents.

    Night and Morning, Complete Edward Bulwer-Lytton
  • She speaks gently, but there is an obstinacy in him, despite his meekness.

    Echoes of the War J. M. Barrie
  • His anger changed to meekness, and his words were mild and fawning.

  • Can he compass his spirit with meekness, and strangle a natural oath?

    Farm Ballads Will Carleton
  • "I haven't acted quite right," said Harvey, surprised at his own meekness.

    "Captains Courageous" Rudyard Kipling
  • The rage of the wolf is changed to the meekness of the lamb.

    The Autobiography of Madame Guyon Jeanne Marie Bouvier de La Motte Guyon
  • This meekness of wisdom Elder Knowles preeminently possessed.

    Gathering Jewels

    James Knowles and Matilda Darroch Knowles
  • Yet by her meekness she had oftentimes controlled them both.

    Olive Dinah Maria Craik, (AKA Dinah Maria Mulock)
British Dictionary definitions for meekness

meek

/miːk/
adjective
1.
patient, long-suffering, or submissive in disposition or nature; humble
2.
spineless or spiritless; compliant
3.
an obsolete word for gentle
Derived Forms
meekly, adverb
meekness, noun
Word Origin
C12: related to Old Norse mjūkr amenable; compare Welsh mwytho to soften
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 meekness
n.

c.1200, meknesse; see meek (adj.) + -ness.

meek

adj.

c.1200, "gentle, quiet, unaggressive; benevolent, kind; courteous, humble, unassuming;" of a woman, "modest," from a Scandinavian source (cf. Old Norse mjukr "soft, pliant, gentle"), from Proto-Germanic *meukaz (cf. Gothic muka-modei "humility," Dutch muik "soft"), of uncertain origin, perhaps from PIE *meug- "slippery, slimy." In the Bible, it translates Latin mansuetus from Vulgate (see mansuetude). Sense of "submissive" is from mid-14c.

meek

n.

"those who are meek," c.1200, from meek (adj.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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