ser·​vant ˈsər-vənt How to pronounce servant (audio)
: one that serves others
a public servant
especially : one that performs duties about the person or home of a master or personal employer
servanthood noun
servantless adjective

Example Sentences

the wealthy family had servants to clean and cook for them
Recent Examples on the Web Bitzer becomes a servant and a sort of spy in the household of Josiah Bounderby, Gradgrind’s son-in-law. Timothy Noah, The New Republic, 16 Dec. 2022 The film describes the impact of the 1979 Iranian revolution by focusing on the growing distance between her Western-leaning father and her religious mother, who became a loyal servant of the revolution that toppled the monarchy. New York Times, 22 May 2022 The ruse worked; light-skinned Ellen, whose white father was also her enslaver, successfully disguised herself as an ailing white gentleman dependent upon near round-the-clock assistance from a Black servant, William. Erin Douglass, The Christian Science Monitor, 13 Feb. 2023 Hamm, who’s lost most of his faculties (save language, for sure), barks endless orders at an exasperated servant, Clov, as Hamm’s decrepit parents, Nagg and Nell, legless and imprisoned in garbage cans, plead for scraps of food and love. Peter Marks, Washington Post, 6 Feb. 2023 Unable to pay the doctor who tended to Rufus, Tom offers his servant, Sabina (Cherrie McRae), as payment. Kristen Baldwin,, 13 Dec. 2022 The strong supporting singers included Denyce Graves, lively as Clarissa’s partner, Sally, and Eve Gigliotti as Virginia’s faithful servant, Nelly. Heidi Waleson, WSJ, 29 Nov. 2022 The other belonged to her stern, no-nonsense Auntie Gerald, who worked Taylor like a domestic servant and begrudged her a decent meal. Suzanne Van Atten, ajc, 27 Jan. 2023 In 1848, married couple William and Ellen Craft – both enslaved in Georgia – launch a daring escape: Light-skinned Ellen, disguised as a wealthy white gentleman, travels north accompanied by William, an enslaved servant. Monitor Reviewers, The Christian Science Monitor, 27 Jan. 2023 See More

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

Word History


Middle English servant, sarvaunt "person serving a master or lord, retainer, attendant," borrowed from Anglo-French, noun derivative from past participle of servir "to be in attendance on, serve entry 1"

Note: Compare sergeant.

First Known Use

13th century, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of servant was in the 13th century

Dictionary Entries Near servant

Cite this Entry

“Servant.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 Mar. 2023.

Kids Definition


ser·​vant ˈsər-vənt How to pronounce servant (audio)
: one that serves others
especially : a person hired to perform household or personal services

Middle English servant "servant," from early French servant (same meaning), from a form of servir "to serve," from Latin servire "to be a slave, serve," from servus "slave, servant" — related to serf see Word History at slave

Legal Definition


: a person who serves others: as
: an individual who performs duties about the person or home of a master or personal employer
: a person in the employ and subject to the direction or control of an individual or company see also respondeat superior compare agent, master

More from Merriam-Webster on servant

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

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

What Did You Just Call Me?

  • brown chihuahua sitting on the floor with squinting eyes looking at the camera
  • Before we went to her house, Hannah told us her aunt was a flibbertigibbet.
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

Solve today's spelling word game by finding as many words as you can with using just 7 letters. Longer words score more points.

Can you make 12 words with 7 letters?