adjective, meek·er, meek·est.
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Origin of meek
synonym study for meek
OTHER WORDS FROM meek
Words nearby 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.)
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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.
I was going to write "Forgive me" but this morning someone wrote "For God's sake don't be so meek."
— Jean Rhys (@MsJeanRhys) March 1, 2020
I don’t know who needs to hear this (myself inclusive):
Meekness and lowliness of heart is not to be “soft spoken or reserved”. Those ones have their place in the natural world.
You can be soft spoken but have pride deep-seated in you
A meek man is being worked upon by Truth!
— Olumide (@TibetMide) February 28, 2020
He's supposed to look like an absolute thug, and that's what makes his meek behavior so striking.
— Emily (@acquamelon) March 19, 2019
Try using meek!
Which of these is an antonym (opposite) of meek?
Example sentences from the Web for 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.
From hip hop to electronic and indie rock and featuring artists like Meek Mill and Hem, see which music videos are becoming viral.Adam Levine, Grizzly Bear & More of the Best Music Videos of the Week (VIDEO)|Jean Trinh|February 1, 2013|DAILY BEAST
It might be meek, and fiercely fought over, compared to the fearful stability and dominance of monarchies and one-party regimes.
In the cockpit, Whitaker is flip, arrogant, and condescending; Evans is meek and at times frightened and clueless.
Her hands were clasped and her head bowed with a meek, resigned air that reached more than one Shawnee heart.Oonomoo the Huron|Edward S. Ellis
How His people need thus to be in heaviness through manifold temptations, to keep them meek and submissive!The Words of Jesus|John R. Macduff
Thou hast made a prey of the meek and gentle who asked for thy protection.Roundabout Papers|William Makepeace Thackeray
In ten minutes more, Louisa's meek knock was softly audible outside.No Name|Wilkie Collins
She spoke the words as a pious aspiration, this little pale woman with meek and kindly eyes, in her nun's dress.From Bapaume to Passchendaele, 1917|Philip Gibbs