adjective ser·vile \ˈsər-vəl, -ˌvī(-ə)l\

: very obedient and trying too hard to please someone

Full Definition of SERVILE

:  of or befitting a slave or a menial position
:  meanly or cravenly submissive :  abject
ser·vile·ly \-və(l)-lē, -ˌvī(-ə)l-lē\ adverb
ser·vile·ness \-vəl-nəs, -ˌvī(-ə)l-\ noun
ser·vil·i·ty \(ˌ)sər-ˈvi-lə-tē\ noun

Examples of SERVILE

  1. <had always maintained a servile attitude around people with money>

Origin of SERVILE

Middle English, from Anglo-French servil, from Latin servilis, from servus slave
First Known Use: 15th century

Synonym Discussion of SERVILE

subservient, servile, slavish, obsequious mean showing or characterized by extreme compliance or abject obedience. subservient implies the cringing manner of one very conscious of a subordinate position <domestic help was expected to be properly subservient>. servile suggests the mean or fawning behavior of a slave <a political boss and his entourage of servile hangers-on>. slavish suggests abject or debased servility <the slavish status of migrant farm workers>. obsequious implies fawning or sycophantic compliance and exaggerated deference of manner <waiters who are obsequious in the presence of celebrities>.

Rhymes with SERVILE

SERVILITY Defined for Kids


adjective ser·vile \ˈsər-vəl\

Definition of SERVILE for Kids

:  of or suitable to a slave <servile work>
:  very obedient and trying too hard to please


Next Word in the Dictionary: servilismPrevious Word in the Dictionary: servigrousAll Words Near: servile
How to use a word that (literally) drives some people nuts.
Test your vocab with our fun, fast game
Ailurophobia, and 9 other unusual fears