menial

noun
me·nial | \ ˈmē-nē-əl , -nyəl \

Definition of menial 

(Entry 1 of 2)

: a person doing menial work specifically : a domestic (see domestic entry 1 sense 4) servant or retainer (see retainer entry 1 sense 1a)

menial

adjective

Definition of menial (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : of or relating to servants : lowly a menial worker

2a : appropriate to a servant : humble, servile answered in menial tones menial household chores

b : lacking interest or dignity a menial task

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Other words from menial

Adjective

menially adverb

Synonyms & Antonyms for menial

Synonyms: Noun

domestic, flunky (also flunkey), lackey, retainer, servant, slavey, steward

Synonyms: Adjective

abject, base, humble, servile, slavish

Antonyms: Noun

master, mistress

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Examples of menial in a Sentence

Noun

immigrants to that country faced fierce prejudice and could expect to find work only as menials

Adjective

every command was obeyed in the menial manner of someone who seemed grateful just to be in the presence of a celebrity

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

After winning power in 2010, Mr. Orban implemented a vast workfare program in which menial tasks have been given to hundreds of thousands of jobseekers — including 73 of the 472 residents of Siklosnagyfalu, a village near the southern border. Patrick Kingsley And Benjamin Novak, New York Times, "An Economic Miracle in Hungary, or Just a Mirage?," 3 Apr. 2018 You either got married and had children or did menial jobs and starved. Lorraine Ali, latimes.com, "Sunday Conversation: Lesley Manville discusses her wide-ranging career and new appreciation for TV," 5 July 2018 While in America Tsang’s mother had to work at menial jobs to support the family. Peter Keough, BostonGlobe.com, "An immigrant story, atrocity tourism, the future of Barbie," 28 June 2018 The Forth Valley Royal Hospital, run by Serco, was the first in Britain to use automated guided vehicles to move laundry and waste around in the basement, saving about 40 menial jobs. The Economist, "Britain’s outsourcing model, copied around the world, is in trouble," 28 June 2018 According to court documents obtained by Fox News, Richard Hanson alleged that the country singer and her husband, John McBride, hired unpaid interns to do menial tasks like cleaning their bathrooms and shopping for their groceries. Sasha Savitsky, Fox News, "Lawsuit: Martina McBride made interns clean bathrooms," 12 June 2018 The town’s tire factory was at one point forced to hire black workers but allowed them to work only the most menial jobs. Kate Siber, Outside Online, "How Wilma Rudolph Became the World’s Fastest Woman," 8 June 2018 But when my phone suddenly froze last week and stopped working, gone was the ability to perform even such menial tasks with ease. Rob Manker, Naperville Sun, "Manker: It's cold sweat time when your smartphone is suddenly gone," 7 June 2018 Lest anyone forget, the more menial tasks people outsource to Google, the more the company knows about their habits. David Pierson, latimes.com, "Should people know they're talking to an algorithm? After a controversial debut, Google now says yes," 10 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'menial.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of menial

Noun

14th century, in the meaning defined above

Adjective

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for menial

Noun

see menial entry 2

Adjective

Middle English meynial, from Anglo-French meignal, from mesnee, mayné household, retinue, from Vulgar Latin *mansionata, from Latin mansion-, mansio dwelling — more at mansion

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Time Traveler for menial

The first known use of menial was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for menial

menial

noun

English Language Learners Definition of menial

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a person (such as a servant) who does boring or unpleasant work for little money : someone who does menial work

menial

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of menial (Entry 2 of 2)

—used to describe boring or unpleasant work that does not require special skill and usually does not pay much money

menial

adjective
me·nial | \ ˈmē-nē-əl , -nyəl \

Kids Definition of menial

: of or relating to boring or unpleasant work that does not require special skill menial tasks

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