[ sur-vil, -vahyl ]
/ ˈsɜr vɪl, -vaɪl /
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slavishly submissive or obsequious; fawning: servile flatterers.
characteristic of, proper to, or customary for slaves; abject: servile obedience.
yielding slavishly; truckling (usually followed by to).
extremely imitative, especially in the arts; lacking in originality.
being in slavery; oppressed.
of, relating to, or involving slaves or servants.
of or relating to a condition of servitude or property ownership in which a person is held in slavery or partially enslaved: medieval rebellions against servile laws.
OTHER WORDS FOR servile
1 cringing, sycophantic, obsequious.
OPPOSITES FOR servile
2 disobedient; lordly, superior.
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Origin of servile
synonym study for servile
1, 2. Servile, menial, obsequious, slavish characterize one who behaves like a slave or an inferior. Servile suggests cringing, fawning, and abject submission: servile responses to questions. Menial applies to that which is considered undesirable drudgery: the most menial tasks. Obsequious implies the ostentatious subordination of oneself to the wishes of another, either from fear or from hope of gain: an obsequious waiter. Slavish stresses the dependence and labori-ous toil of one who follows or obeys without question: slavish attentiveness to orders.
OTHER WORDS FROM servile
ser·vile·ly, adverbser·vil·i·ty [sur-vil-i-tee], /ˌsɜrˈvɪl ɪ ti/, ser·vile·ness, nounnon·ser·vile, adjectivenon·ser·vile·ly, adverb
o·ver·ser·vile, adjectiveo·ver·ser·vile·ly, adverbpseu·do·ser·vile, adjectivepseu·do·ser·vile·ly, adverbun·ser·vile, adjectiveun·ser·vile·ly, adverb
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023
How to use servile in a sentence
The same amount of pride which makes a man treat haughtily his inferiors, makes him cringe servilely to those above him.The 'Characters' of Jean de La Bruyre|Jean de La Bruyre
He did not hesitate to take issue with the theories and statements of Galen, and criticised those who adopted them too servilely.An Epitome of the History of Medicine|Roswell Park
It is a necessary and warrantable pride to disdain to walk servilely behind any individual, however elevated his rank.Seven Discourses on Art|Joshua Reynolds
He trembled servilely before God because God was the only being before whom he had to tremble.The Revolt of The Netherlands, Complete|Friedrich Schiller
But the Russian merchant is generally conservative, un-enterprising, a bad linguist, and servilely attached to ancient usages.German Problems and Personalities|Charles Sarolea
British Dictionary definitions for servile
/ (ˈsɜːvaɪl) /
obsequious or fawning in attitude or behaviour; submissive
of or suitable for a slave
existing in or relating to a state of slavery
(when postpositive, foll by to) submitting or obedient
Derived forms of servileservilely, adverbservility (sɜːˈvɪlɪtɪ) or servileness, noun
Word Origin for servile
C14: from Latin servīlis, from servus slave
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