adjective, meek·er, meek·est.

humbly patient or docile, as under provocation from others.
overly submissive or compliant; spiritless; tame.
Obsolete. gentle; kind.

Origin of meek

1150–1200; Middle English meke, meoc < Old Norse mjūkr soft, mild, meek
Related formsmeek·ly, adverbmeek·ness, nouno·ver·meek, adjectiveo·ver·meek·ly, adverbo·ver·meek·ness, noun

Synonyms for meek

1. forbearing; yielding; unassuming; pacific, calm, soft. See gentle. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for meekly

Contemporary Examples of meekly

Historical Examples of meekly

  • Then he said, meekly, "Does your mother object to tobacco smoke, ma'am?"

  • "Well, sir, I suppose it was to come," meekly replied Jenkins.

    The Channings

    Mrs. Henry Wood

  • He did not often find one who would stand it so meekly as Joe Jenkins.

    The Channings

    Mrs. Henry Wood

  • They looked down upon us, and we meekly admitted their right to do so.

  • He felt that he ought to leave her then, but he followed her meekly enough.

    Changing Winds

    St. John G. Ervine

British Dictionary definitions for meekly



patient, long-suffering, or submissive in disposition or nature; humble
spineless or spiritless; compliant
an obsolete word for gentle
Derived Formsmeekly, adverbmeekness, noun

Word Origin for meek

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

Word Origin and History for meekly

c.1200, from meek (adj.) + -ly (2).



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.



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

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper