• synonyms


  1. a person who shapes his or her conduct to conform to the opinions of the time or of persons in power, especially for selfish ends.
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Origin of timeserver

First recorded in 1565–75; time + server
Related formstime·serv·ing, adjective, nountime·serv·ing·ness, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for time-server

Historical Examples

  • From Maurice Gorman, coward and time-server, there was nothing to be hoped.


    Talbot Baines Reed

  • It indicates that he was a time-server, lacking moral independence and firmness.

  • I love wealth, like all my people, but I am not altogether a time-server, or a money-seeker.


    H. Rider Haggard

  • They are those neither of a time-server, a faint heart, or a fool.

  • He was a time-server, a self-constituted agent, and a dangerous enemy when enraged.

British Dictionary definitions for time-server


  1. a person who compromises and changes his or her opinions, way of life, etc, to suit the current fashions
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Derived Formstimeserving, adjective, 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 time-server


1580s, from expression serve the time "shape one's views to what is in favor" (1550s), translating Latin tempori servire. See time (n.) + serve (v.).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper