A menial task is anything that takes very little training, skill, or talent. Some people find it relaxing to do the menial chore of folding laundry. Go figure.

The adjective menial comes from an Old French word, mensie, which means “household.” Many chores that get labeled as menial are domestic, but other jobs outside of the home are sometimes also considered menial: stuffing envelopes, data processing, repetitive assembly line work, brain surgery (OK, that last one is not considered menial; we were just checking to see if you were awake).

Definitions of menial
  1. adjective
    used of unskilled work (especially domestic work)
    synonyms: humble, lowly
    not having or showing or requiring special skill or proficiency
  2. noun
    a domestic servant
    see moresee less
    type of:
    retainer, servant
    a person working in the service of another (especially in the household)
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