[ mee-nee-uhl, meen-yuhl ]
See synonyms for menial on
  1. lowly and sometimes degrading: menial work.

  2. servile; submissive: menial attitudes.

  1. pertaining to or suitable for domestic servants; humble: menial furnishings.

  1. a domestic servant.

  2. a servile person.

Origin of menial

First recorded in 1350–1400; Middle English meynyal, from Anglo-French me(i)nial; see meiny, -al1

synonym study For menial

2. See servile.

Other words for menial

Opposites for menial

Other words from menial

  • me·ni·al·ly, adverb
  • non·me·ni·al, adjective
  • non·me·ni·al·ly, adverb
  • un·me·ni·al, adjective
  • un·me·ni·al·ly, adverb Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use menial in a sentence

  • She went home despising in her heart both lords and menials, and dreaming, with new aspirations, of her Roman republic.

  • But no one came save menials, out of whose sight the poor bruised mother would fain have kept herself.

    The Life of Thomas Wanless, Peasant | Alexander Johnstone Wilson
  • Obsequious menials might even set the dogs at him, or trump up a charge against him and put him in jail.

    The Life of Thomas Wanless, Peasant | Alexander Johnstone Wilson
  • Several of her menials simultaneously appeared out of invisibility, and one of them hurried obsequiously towards him.

    The Regent | E. Arnold Bennett
  • He waved his arm, and the menials shrank back at his tread, stalked across the inhospitable hall, and vanished.

    Night and Morning, Complete | Edward Bulwer-Lytton

British Dictionary definitions for menial


/ (ˈmiːnɪəl) /

  1. consisting of or occupied with work requiring little skill, esp domestic duties such as cleaning

  2. of, involving, or befitting servants

  1. servile

  1. a domestic servant

  2. a servile person

Origin of menial

C14: from Anglo-Norman meignial, from Old French meinie household. See meiny

Derived forms of menial

  • menially, adverb

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