View synonyms for subservience


[ suhb-sur-vee-uhns ]


  1. the fact of serving in a subordinate position or role:

    There is no hierarchy, no dominance or subservience of any member, in this vision of the faith community.

  2. a servile or excessively submissive quality or manner:

    Was I so weak that a child could reduce me to this fawning subservience—without will, without character?

  3. the fact or quality of being useful, or the state of being used, to promote a certain purpose or end:

    Popular nationalists decried Irish subservience to British commercial interests, and promised to strengthen economic sovereignty.

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Word History and Origins

Origin of subservience1

First recorded in 1645–55; subservi(ent) ( def ) + -ence ( def )
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Example Sentences

It’s not until those cultural artifacts break out of our silos — often going viral via mocking screenshot — that we realize just how cringe-tastic they were, and how embarrassing the subservient attitude they represent really is.

The cross-aisle determination to counteract Beijing was on full display during the 2020 presidential election, when each campaign tried to prove its “tough on China” credentials and paint the other as subservient to Beijing.

From Fortune

What he may lack in leadership or due diligence skills, he makes up for in his abilities to whip the media into subservience.

Alone among the servants he had no time for sycophancy or subservience.

The Feminine Mystique was a bomb thrown at Mad Men-era conceptions of domesticity and female subservience.

His attitude became one of good-humored subservience and tacit adoration.

The temper of the Parliament had drifted far from the slavish subservience which it showed at the close of Henry's reign.

Twice the trainer spoke to him before he heeded; but then he assumed instantly an air of mildest subservience.

In the Assembly itself were many bishops and priests who were called upon to give the example of subservience.

In preaching, he never addressed the passions, but in subservience to reason and truth.