[sur-vuh nt]


a person employed by another, especially to perform domestic duties.
a person in the service of another.
a person employed by the government: a public servant.

Origin of servant

1175–1225; Middle English < Old French, noun use of present participle of servir to serve; see -ant
Related formsserv·ant·less, adjectiveserv·ant·like, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for servant

Contemporary Examples of servant

Historical Examples of servant

  • If a servant complained of being abused, his master had no power to retain him.


    Lydia Maria Child

  • At length the servant returned, saying his master was now ready to see them.


    Lydia Maria Child

  • Such a servant of the country should be well paid by the country.

  • "Ask Mrs. Holroyd if she will have the kindness to come here for a minute," he said to the servant.


    William J. Locke

  • "But he said it was most important, sir," the servant went on.

    Within the Law

    Marvin Dana

British Dictionary definitions for servant



a person employed to work for another, esp one who performs household duties
Derived Formsservant-like, adjective

Word Origin for servant

C13: via Old French, from servant serving, from servir to serve
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 servant

c.1200, "personal or domestic attendant," from Old French servant "servant; foot-soldier," noun use of servant "serving, waiting," present participle of servir "to attend, wait upon" (see serve (v.)).

Meaning "professed lover, one devoted to the service of a lady" is from mid-14c. In North American colonies and U.S., the usual designation for "slave" 17c.-18c. (in 14c.-15c. and later in Biblical translations the word often was used to render Latin servus, Greek doulos "slave"). Public servant is attested from 1670s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper