If you want to get someone to like you, don't offer to fetch them a Coke, rub their feet, or do their homework. They won't like you any better, and your servile attitude will only cost you their respect.

To remember servile, just think of the word servant––they both derive from the Latin servus "slave." In fact, servile also means anything characteristic of a slave. "After winning the lottery, the ex-slave shed first his servile clothes, later his servile manner. The transformation was complete."

Definitions of servile

adj submissive or fawning in attitude or behavior

“spoke in a servile tone”
“the incurably servile housekeeper”
servile tasks such as floor scrubbing and barn work”
bootlicking, fawning, sycophantic, toadyish
attempting to win favor by flattery
attentive in an ingratiating or servile manner
slavish, submissive, subservient
abjectly submissive; characteristic of a slave or servant
suitable for a slave or servant
unservile, unsubmissive
not servile or submissive

adj relating to or involving slaves or appropriate for slaves or servants

“Brown's attempt at servile insurrection”
“the servile wars of Sicily”
servile work”
held in servitude

Sign up, it's free!

Whether you're a student, an educator, or a lifelong learner, can put you on the path to systematic vocabulary improvement.