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See more synonyms for meek on Thesaurus.com
adjective, meek·er, meek·est.
  1. humbly patient or docile, as under provocation from others.
  2. overly submissive or compliant; spiritless; tame.
  3. Obsolete. gentle; kind.
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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


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1. forbearing; yielding; unassuming; pacific, calm, soft. See gentle.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for meekness


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

Word Origin and History for meekness


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

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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.

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

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper