Thesaurus

servile

adjective

Synonyms & Antonyms of servile

showing, expressing, or offered in a spirit of humility or unseemly submissiveness
  • had always maintained a servile attitude around people with money

Synonyms for servile

Words Related to servile

Near Antonyms for servile

See the Dictionary Definition 

Frequently Asked Questions About servile

How is the word servile distinct from other similar adjectives?

Some common synonyms of servile are obsequious, slavish, and subservient. While all these words mean "showing or characterized by extreme compliance or abject obedience," servile suggests the mean or fawning behavior of a slave.

a political boss and his entourage of servile hangers-on

When might obsequious be a better fit than servile?

While in some cases nearly identical to servile, obsequious implies fawning or sycophantic compliance and exaggerated deference of manner.

waiters who are obsequious in the presence of celebrities

When could slavish be used to replace servile?

The words slavish and servile can be used in similar contexts, but slavish suggests abject or debased servility.

the slavish status of migrant farm workers

When would subservient be a good substitute for servile?

In some situations, the words subservient and servile are roughly equivalent. However, subservient implies the cringing manner of one very conscious of a subordinate position.

domestic help was expected to be properly subservient

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about servile

Time Traveler for servile

Time Traveler

The first known use of servile was in the 15th century

See more words from the same century

Listen to Our Podcast about servile

Cite this Entry

“Servile.” Merriam-Webster.com Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/thesaurus/servile. Accessed 8 Aug. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on servile

Dictionary: Definition of servile

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with servile

Spanish Central: Translation of servile

Nglish: Translation of servile for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of servile for Arabic Speakers

Comments on servile

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

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

Original Meanings Quiz

  • rembrandt painting a young scholar and his tutor
  • Which of the following is the earliest known sense of the word awe?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Bee Cubed

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!