slavish

play
adjective slav·ish \ˈslā-vish sometimes ˈsla-\

Definition of slavish

  1. 1a :  of or characteristic of a slave; especially :  basely or abjectly servileb archaic :  despicable, low

  2. 2 archaic :  oppressive, tyrannical

  3. 3 :  copying obsequiously or without originality :  imitative

slavishly

adverb

slavishness

noun

Examples of slavish in a Sentence

  1. a politician and his slavish followers

  2. He has been criticized for his slavish devotion to the rules.

Recent Examples of slavish from the Web

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

First Known Use of slavish

1565

Synonym Discussion of slavish

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

SLAVISH Defined for English Language Learners

slavish

play
adjective

Definition of slavish for English Language Learners

  • : copying or following someone or something completely without any attempt to be original or independent


SLAVISH Defined for Kids

slavish

play
adjective slav·ish \ˈslā-vish\

Definition of slavish for Students

  1. :  following, copying, or accepting something or someone without questioning slavish imitators



Seen and Heard

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

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!

WORD OF THE DAY

an incorrigible rascal

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

  • istock-refers-to-this-as-a-tumble-of-strawberries-which-sounded-pretty-nice-to-us
  • Which is a synonym of garner?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!