subservient


sub·ser·vi·ent

adjective \səb-ˈsər-vē-ənt\

: very willing or too willing to obey someone else

: less important than something or someone else

Full Definition of SUBSERVIENT

1
:  useful in an inferior capacity :  subordinate
2
:  serving to promote some end
3
:  obsequiously submissive :  truckling
sub·ser·vi·ent·ly adverb

Examples of SUBSERVIENT

  1. She refused to take a subservient role in their marriage.
  2. Henson and Stowe did become close friends, and Stowe herself drew direct parallels between Uncle Tom and Josiah Henson. Sadder still, the term Uncle Tom has since taken on negative, minstrel-show connotations of subservient blacks kowtowing to whites, which is unfortunate, because it undermines the triumph that was Josiah Henson's life. He was no caricature, and his achievements were real. —Will Ferguson, Beauty Tips From Moose Jaw, 2004

Origin of SUBSERVIENT

Latin subservient-, subserviens, present participle of subservire (see subserve)
First Known Use: circa 1626

Synonym Discussion of SUBSERVIENT

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>.

Browse

Next Word in the Dictionary: subservientness
Previous Word in the Dictionary: subserviency
All Words Near: subservient

Seen & Heard

What made you want to look up subservient? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

Get Our Free Apps
Voice Search, Favorites,
Word of the Day, and More
Join Us on FB & Twitter
Get the Word of the Day and More