servant

noun

ser·​vant ˈsər-vənt How to pronounce servant (audio)
: one that serves others
a public servant
especially : one that performs duties about the person or home of a master or personal employer
servanthood noun
servantless adjective

Example Sentences

the wealthy family had servants to clean and cook for them
Recent Examples on the Web In 1796, Ona Judge, his wife Martha’s enslaved 20-year-old body servant, came to the realization that the president’s impending retirement meant for her a return to lifelong bondage in Virginia. Harold Holzer, WSJ, 20 Jan. 2023 In 415, Athaulf was attacked by a resentful servant and stabbed in the groin; the wound soon proved to be lethal. Tony Perrottet, Smithsonian Magazine, 9 Jan. 2023 Renfield begins as a devoted servant who gradually becomes disillusioned with carrying out Dracula’s malevolent deeds. Katie Reul, Variety, 5 Jan. 2023 This historic 1932 stone cottage was once the servant’s quarters for a wealthy Hartford family’s country escape. Meg St-esprit, Good Housekeeping, 29 Dec. 2022 Often referred to as an historian, activist, Muslim scholar, warrior, writer, servant leader and friend, his involvement in Dallas movements spanned decades. Dallas News, 17 Aug. 2022 There's the playboy heir, Sunny; his servant, Ajay, who was born in poverty; and a journalist, Neda, who falls into Sunny's orbit. The Editors, Town & Country, 4 Jan. 2023 After a hit-and-run accident, three people — a servant, a dilettante and a journalist — find their lives tangled up in the crime’s mysterious origins and aftermath. Los Angeles Times, 29 Dec. 2022 Or for dispatching a loyal, grey-haired servant with such cruel haste, without even the benefit of a day’s grace? William Booth, Washington Post, 1 Dec. 2022 See More

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

Word History

Etymology

Middle English servant, sarvaunt "person serving a master or lord, retainer, attendant," borrowed from Anglo-French, noun derivative from past participle of servir "to be in attendance on, serve entry 1"

Note: Compare sergeant.

First Known Use

13th century, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of servant was in the 13th century

Dictionary Entries Near servant

Cite this Entry

“Servant.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/servant. Accessed 9 Feb. 2023.

Kids Definition

servant

noun
ser·​vant ˈsər-vənt How to pronounce servant (audio)
: one that serves others
especially : a person hired to perform household or personal services

Legal Definition

servant

noun
ser·​vant
: a person who serves others: as
a
: an individual who performs duties about the person or home of a master or personal employer
b
: a person in the employ and subject to the direction or control of an individual or company see also respondeat superior compare agent, master

More from Merriam-Webster on servant

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