of or befitting a slave: slavish subjection.
being or resembling a slave; abjectly submissive: He was slavish in his obedience.
base; mean; ignoble: slavish fears.
deliberately imitative; lacking originality: a slavish reproduction.

Origin of slavish

First recorded in 1555–65; slave + -ish1
Related formsslav·ish·ly, adverbslav·ish·ness, nouno·ver·slav·ish, adjectiveo·ver·slav·ish·ly, adverbo·ver·slav·ish·ness, noun

Synonyms for slavish

2. groveling, sycophantic, fawning, cringing. See servile.

Antonyms for slavish Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for slavishly

Contemporary Examples of slavishly

  • He may want to emulate, sometimes almost slavishly, the late President François Mitterrand, his political godfather.

    The Daily Beast logo
    Obama: Pay Attention to Europe

    Christopher Dickey

    May 8, 2012

  • And for much of the early part of the 20th century, Americans were slavishly following French cooking.

    The Daily Beast logo
    Reichl’s Favorite Food Books

    The Browser

    August 11, 2011

  • The Alaskan continues her unmatched mastery of the press—getting them to slavishly follow her Tour to Nowhere.

    The Daily Beast logo
    How Palin's Winning the Media War

    Matt Latimer

    June 2, 2011

Historical Examples of slavishly

British Dictionary definitions for slavishly



of or befitting a slave
being or resembling a slave; servile
unoriginal; imitative
archaic ignoble
Derived Formsslavishly, adverbslavishness, noun
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 slavishly



1560s, from slave (n.) + -ish. Sense of "servilely imitative, lacking originality or independence" is from 1753. Related: Slavishly; slavishness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper