subservience

noun

sub·​ser·​vi·​ence səb-ˈsər-vē-ən(t)s How to pronounce subservience (audio)
1
: a subservient or subordinate place or function
2
: obsequious servility

Examples of subservience in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Occasionally this has its benefits, as in 1793, when lusting after a lovable rogue (Barnard) can take her mind off crawling around in subservience as the wife of a gluttonous aristocrat (Nick Frost). Stephen Saito, Variety, 16 Mar. 2024 In the long run, the work of the Society is ultimately not subservience to Whites, but the saving of Black lives. Michael O'Sullivan, Washington Post, 15 Mar. 2024 But even if Amorim’s assessment is correct, Brazil can gain support from the global North for Lula’s progressive vision only if his country maintains clear autonomy; any hint of subservience to China will draw Western backlash. Matias Spektor, Foreign Affairs, 28 Feb. 2024 In my view as a sociologist who studies race and ethnicity, part of the legal and systematic effort to maintain Black subservience was based in part on the white people’s fear that formerly enslaved Black people would be rebellious and unwilling to stay on the lower levels of society. Rodney Coates, The Conversation, 20 Feb. 2024 Do the rewards associated with subservience outweigh the benefits associated with rapid economic development, which can only be realized with reliable, on-demand power-generation? Noah Rothman, National Review, 18 Jan. 2024 If only our politicians show sufficient hesitation, lack of conviction and subservience to Moscow, U.S. voters will love them. Paul Bedard, Washington Examiner, 11 Jan. 2024 What some may see as subservience to power interests and shady, consistent avoidance of engaging with the public may be imagined by others as unorthodox tactfulness. Tori Otten, The New Republic, 2 May 2023 The blockade was already causing critical shortages of food, medicine, fuel, and other basic necessities—forcing Karabakh’s Armenians into a position of dependence and subservience. Alex Galitsky, Time, 20 Sep. 2023

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'subservience.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

circa 1676, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of subservience was circa 1676

Dictionary Entries Near subservience

Cite this Entry

“Subservience.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/subservience. Accessed 12 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition

subservience

noun
sub·​ser·​vi·​ence səb-ˈsər-vē-ən(t)s How to pronounce subservience (audio)
1
: a subordinate place or function
2
: obedience befitting one of a menial position

More from Merriam-Webster on subservience

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