- 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 as a slave or as partially enslaved: medieval rebellions against servile laws.
Origin of servile
SynonymsSee more synonyms for servile on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for servilely
"Yes, sir; and I beg a thousand pardons," said Darby, servilely.Tom Burke Of "Ours", Volume I (of II)
Charles James Lever
And the words and her attitude recalled that other time she was servilely at his feet.The Way of the Gods
John Luther Long
It was her nature, as we have said, servilely to copy others.The Danvers Jewels, and Sir Charles Danvers
"I can fix anything like that, Mr. Cowperwood," he replied, servilely.The Financier
Most of these novelties were servilely copied from French aviation.Georges Guynemer
- 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
Word Origin and History for servilely
late 14c., from Latin servilis "of a slave" (as in Servile Wars, name given to the slave revolts in the late Roman Republic), also "slavish, servile," from servus "slave" (see serve (v.)). Earliest sense was legal, servile work being forbidden on the Sabbath; sense of "cringing, fawning" first recorded c.1600.