slavish

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

Definition of slavish

1 a :of or characteristic of a slave; especially :basely or abjectly servile
b archaic :despicable, low
2 archaic :oppressive, tyrannical
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

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

adjective slav·ish \ ˈslā-vish \

Definition of slavish for Students

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


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