sub·​ser·​vi·​ence | \ səb-ˈsər-vē-ən(t)s How to pronounce subservience (audio) \

Definition of subservience

1 : a subservient or subordinate place or function
2 : obsequious servility

Examples of subservience in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web His subservience to Putin and Erdogan has inflamed the growing proxy war. Washington Post, "Libya’s war could be a snapshot of the 21st century’s new normal," 10 Jan. 2020 The plot involves one of the main characters’ going to China to try and sell marijuana, getting arrested, and being rescued by Mickey Mouse and the Disney corporation, whose subservience to China is emphasized. Taylor Dinerman, National Review, "The End of the Soft-Power Delusion," 31 Dec. 2019 Put in charge of the largest platform in the country, Ernst set about realizing his creative vision, which skillfully combined a certain cosmopolitan savviness with ultimate subservience to the state. Joshua Yaffa, The New Yorker, "The Kremlin’s Creative Director," 9 Dec. 2019 However, against the backdrop of Hong Kong’s pro-democracy protests, the move exemplifies continued corporate subservience to the Chinese government. Matthew De Silva, Quartz, "Apple bows to China by censoring Taiwan flag emoji," 7 Oct. 2019 His craven subservience to Putin also has been a central pillar of his administration. Steve Chapman,, "Column: Trump’s 3 obsessions: Tariffs, bigotry and Putin," 4 Dec. 2019 The company previously hid the Taiwan flag emoji from Apple devices in Hong Kong and Macau, an act of subservience to the Communist Party to keep access to China’s massive market. Matthew De Silva, Quartz, "This is the blacklist Apple uses to censor the internet in China," 31 Oct. 2019 The Puritans thought women should have babies, raise children, manage household life and model Christian subservience to their husbands. Bridget Marshall, The Conversation, "Most witches are women, because witch hunts were all about persecuting the powerless," 23 Oct. 2019 Agnes, the older of the two, grew up in a Commander’s family, and recounts her childhood with sadness and a trace of longing, explaining the way that being trained into subservience can feel like being honored, and blessed. Jia Tolentino, The New Yorker, "Margaret Atwood Expands the World of “The Handmaid’s Tale”," 5 Sep. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'subservience.' 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 subservience

circa 1676, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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The first known use of subservience was circa 1676

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Statistics for subservience

Last Updated

14 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Subservience.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 22 January 2020.

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