/serr"vil, -vuyl/, adj.
1. slavishly submissive or obsequious; fawning: servile flatterers.
2. characteristic of, proper to, or customary for slaves; abject: servile obedience.
3. yielding slavishly; truckling (usually fol. by to).
4. extremely imitative, esp. in the arts; lacking in originality.
5. being in slavery; oppressed.
6. of, pertaining to, or involving slaves or servants.
7. of or pertaining to a condition of servitude or property ownership in which a person is held as a slave or as partially enslaved: medieval rebellions against servile laws.
[1350-1400; ME < L servilis, equiv. to serv- (s. of servire to be a slave) + -ilis -ILE]
Syn. 1, 2. cringing, sycophantic. SERVILE, MENIAL, OBSEQUIOUS, SLAVISH characterize one who behaves like a slave or an inferior. SERVILE suggests cringing, fawning, and abject submission: servile responses to questions. MENIAL applies to that which is considered undesirable drudgery: the most menial tasks. OBSEQUIOUS implies the ostentatious subordination of oneself to the wishes of another, either from fear or from hope of gain: an obsequious waiter. SLAVISH stresses the dependence and labori-ous toil of one who follows or obeys without question: slavish attentiveness to orders. 2. mean, base, low.
Ant. 1. aggressive. 2. exalted.

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Universalium. 2010.


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