- 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 servility
Why should we acquiesce in the preparation of our spirits for the worst kind of servility—slavery to fate?Dear Frank Luntz: Here’s How to Be Happy Again
January 8, 2014
Now, he was her humble petitioner, but this servility could be of no avail to save him from shame.Within the Law
A legion of hirelings were zealous to show their servility and loyalty to their lords.The Railroad Question
Such a thing they would regard as in itself a symbol of servility.
Don't mistake coolness and poise for submissiveness and servility.Dollars and Sense
Col. Wm. C. Hunter
Sal Karone remained in the background, but there was no servility in his manner.Cubs of the Wolf
Raymond F. Jones
- 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 servility
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.