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Webster 1913 Edition


Servant

Serv′ant

,
Noun.
[OE.
servant
,
servaunt
, F.
servant
, a & p. pr. of
servir
to serve, L.
servire
. See
Serve
, and cf.
Sergeant
.]
1.
One who serves, or does services, voluntarily or on compulsion; a person who is employed by another for menial offices, or for other labor, and is subject to his command; a person who labors or exerts himself for the benefit of another, his master or employer; a subordinate helper.
“A yearly hired servant.”
Lev. xxv. 53.
Men in office have begun to think themselves mere agents and
servants
of the appointing power, and not agents of the government or the country.
D. Webster.
☞ In a legal sense, stewards, factors, bailiffs, and other agents, are servants for the time they are employed in such character, as they act in subordination to others. So any person may be legally the servant of another, in whose business, and under whose order, direction, and control, he is acting for the time being.
Chitty.
2.
One in a state of subjection or bondage.
Thou wast a
servant
in the land of Egypt.
Deut. v. 15.
3.
A professed lover or suitor; a gallant.
[Obs.]
In my time a
servant
was I one.
Chaucer.
Our betters tell us they are
our humble servants
, but understand us to be their slaves.
Swift.

Serv′ant

,
Verb.
T.
To subject.
[Obs.]
Shak.

Webster 1828 Edition


Servant

SERV'ANT

, [L. servans, from servo, to keep or hold; properly one that waits, that is, stops, holds, attends, or one that is bound.]
1. A person, male or female, that attends another for the pupose of performing menial offices for him, ot who is employed by another for such offices or for other labor, and is subject to his command. The word is correlative to master. Servant differs from slave, as the servant's subjection to a master is voluntary, the slave's is not. Every slave is a servant, but every servant is not a slave.
Servants are of various kinds; as household or domestic servants, menial servants; laborers, who are hired by the day, week or other term, and do not reside with their employers, ot if they board in the same house, are employed abroad and not in the domestic services; apprentices, who are bound for a term of years to serve a master, for the purpose of learning his trade or occupation.
In a legal sense, stewards, factors, bailifs and other agents, are servants for the time they are employed in such character, as they act in subordination to others.
2. One in a state of subjection.
3.In Scripture, a slave; a bondman; one purchased for money, and who was compelled to serve till the year of jubilee; also, one purchased for a term of years.
4. The subject of a king; as the servents of David or of Saul.
The Syrians became servants to David. 2 Sam. 8.
5. A person who voluntarily serves another or acts as his minister; as joshua was the servant of Moses, and the apostles the apostles the servants of Christ. So Christ himself is called a servant, Is. 42. Moses is called the servant of the Lord, Duet. 34.
6. A person employed or used as an unstrument in accomplishing God's purposes of mercy or wrath. So Nebuchadnezzar is called the servant of God. Jer. 25.
7. One who yields obedience to another. The saints are called servants of God, or of righteousness; and the wicked are called the servants of sin.
8. That which yields obedience, or acts on subordination as an instrument.
9. One that makes painful sacrifices in compliance with the weakness or wants of others.
10. A person of base condition or ignoble spirit.
11. A word of civilith. I am, sir, your humble or obedient servant.
Our betters tell us they are our humble servants, but understand us to be their slaves. Swift.

Definition 2021


servant

servant

English

Alternative forms

  • servaunt (obsolete)
  • servand (obsolete)

Noun

servant (plural servants)

  1. One who is hired to perform regular household or other duties, and receives compensation. As opposed to a slave.
    There are three servants in the household, the butler and two maids.
    • 1915, George A. Birmingham, chapter I”, in Gossamer (Project Gutenberg; EBook #24394), London: Methuen & Co., published 8 January 2013 (Project Gutenberg version), OCLC 558189256:
      As a political system democracy seems to me extraordinarily foolish, but I would not go out of my way to protest against it. My servant is, so far as I am concerned, welcome to as many votes as he can get. I would very gladly make mine over to him if I could.
  2. One who serves another, providing help in some manner.
    She is quite the humble servant, the poor in this city owe much to her but she expects nothing.

Derived terms

Translations

Verb

servant (third-person singular simple present servants, present participle servanting, simple past and past participle servanted)

  1. (obsolete) To subject.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Shakespeare to this entry?)

Statistics

Most common English words before 1923: prove · engaged · America · #993: servant · doctor · Michael · fee

Anagrams


French

Verb

servant

  1. present participle of servir

Etymology

From Middle French, from Old French, a substantivized present participle of servir. Cf. also Latin serviens, and French sergent.

Noun

servant m (plural servants, feminine servante)

  1. servant

Related terms

Anagrams


Latin

Verb

servant

  1. third-person plural present active indicative of servō

Middle English

Etymology

Old French servant, originally the present participle of servir

Noun

servant (plural servants)

  1. servant

Norwegian Bokmål

Noun

servant m (definite singular servanten, indefinite plural servanter, definite plural servantene)

  1. a washbasin
  2. a sink

Synonyms


Norwegian Nynorsk

Noun

servant m (definite singular servanten, indefinite plural servantar, definite plural servantane)

  1. a washbasin
  2. a sink

Synonyms


Old French

Verb

servant

  1. present participle of servir

Adjective

servant m (oblique and nominative feminine singular servant or servante)

  1. that serves; that fulfils a role

Noun

servant m (oblique plural servanz or servantz, nominative singular servanz or servantz, nominative plural servant)

  1. servant (one who serves)

Descendants