View synonyms for meek


[ meek ]


, meek·er, meek·est.
  1. humbly patient or quiet in nature, as under provocation from others.

    Synonyms: yielding, soft, timid, weak, obedient, calm, pacific, unassuming, passive

  2. overly submissive or compliant; tame.
  3. Obsolete. gentle; kind.


/ miːk /


  1. patient, long-suffering, or submissive in disposition or nature; humble
  2. spineless or spiritless; compliant
  3. an obsolete word for gentle

Discover More

Derived Forms

  • ˈmeekness, noun
  • ˈmeekly, adverb

Discover More

Other Words From

  • meek·ly adverb
  • meek·ness noun
  • o·ver·meek adjective

Discover More

Word History and Origins

Origin of meek1

First recorded in 1150–1200; Middle English meke, meoc, from Old Norse mjūkr “soft, mild, meek”

Discover More

Word History and Origins

Origin of meek1

C12: related to Old Norse mjūkr amenable; compare Welsh mwytho to soften

Discover More

Synonym Study

See gentle.

Discover More

Example Sentences

The show needed a moment for Nathan Shelley, the meek kit man played by Nick Mohammed, to draw up a play savvy enough to showcase his dormant coaching expertise.

I learned to shield my meek older brother, crying out for her to stop as her fists beat the self-worth out of me.

From Ozy

Then Gwinnett argued that Uzuegbunam’s discussion of gentle Jesus meek and mild was “contentious” language with “a tendency to incite hostility,” and hence constituted “fighting words” unprotected by the Constitution.

While Clare sits head held high and regal, her blonde hair perfectly coiffed, Irene is meek, hoping to go unnoticed using the brim of her cloche hat to cover her eyes.

This version is accessible to a 12-and-up audience and corrects the myths that Parks was a meek, passive player in American history.

Outside of that one encounter, however, Moses is pretty meek.

But Kasich will perform some meek tap dance about repeal and replace, leaving the good parts.

You must celebrate the peacemakers, the poor at heart, the meek.

He was not a very nice guy, and maybe Linda was very meek … Nobody would touch Marilyn.

From hip hop to electronic and indie rock and featuring artists like Meek Mill and Hem, see which music videos are becoming viral.

Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly of heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.

“He was worth saving,” remarked Stanley, stooping to pat the meek head of the dog.

There was such pathos in her meek withdrawal into that little north room, that Brodrick hadn't the heart to keep her in it.

Then the meek-eyed woman reappeared, removed the dishes, returned once more, and looked fixedly at Thurstane's bloody sleeve.

They sent a shiver of feeling through the village, and turned the meek white horse into a charger of war.


Discover More

More About Meek

What does meek mean?

When used in a positive way, meek describes someone who shows patient restraint. When used negatively, it means overly submissive.

The positive sense of meek implies that someone is able to remain calm and subdued even when being provoked. Its negative use is perhaps more common, and is intended to indicate that someone is being too passive. The word meek is often associated with Christian virtues due to its use in a well-known Bible passage.

Example: I know you’re naturally reserved, but you can’t be so meek during job interviews.

Where does meek come from?

The first records of meek in English come from the 1100s. It is ultimately derived from the Old Norse word mjūkr, meaning “soft” and “mild.”

When you call someone or something meek, you usually mean one of two things. It can be a compliment indicating that a person remains patiently calm, humble, and peaceful, especially in circumstances that would get most people to act in the opposite way. In this way, it can be used to describe a person, an action, or behavior, as in The way he treated us was so meek that we trusted him completely or Our saintly mother was unfailingly meek and never lost her temper.

Perhaps more commonly, meek is used to describe someone who the speaker thinks should be more assertive, as in They’re too meek to stand up for themselves or If you keep taking such a meek approach to your career, you won’t get anywhere. Meek is often used alongside the word mild.

The association of meek with Christianity comes from its use in some English translations of the Bible in the account of Jesus’s Sermon on the Mount. In the sermon, described in the Book of Matthew, Jesus delivers what are sometimes called Beatitudes—sayings about what kind of people will receive blessings. In one of them, Jesus says “Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the Earth.” There are many interpretations of the word meek in this passage, but it is often interpreted as meaning “peaceful,” “gentle,” or “kind.” (Meek was once used to mean “gentle and kind,” but that meaning has fallen out of use.)

Did you know ... ?

What are some other forms related to meek?

  • meekly (adverb)
  • meekness (noun)
  • meeker (adjective, comparative degree)
  • meekest (adjective, superlative degree)
  • overmeek (adjective)
  • overmeekly (adverb)

What are some synonyms for meek?

What are some words that often get used in discussing meek?

How is meek used in real life?

Meek is used to describe people as subdued or restrained—either in a good way or in a way that implies they are acting too tamely.



Try using meek!

Which of these is an antonym (opposite) of meek?

A. obedient
B. unyielding
C. submissive
D. unassuming