I. noun Date: 14th century a person doing menial work; specifically a domestic servant or retainer II. adjective Etymology: Middle English meynial, from Anglo-French meignal, from mesnee, mayné household, retinue, from Vulgar Latin *mansionata, from Latin mansion-, mansio dwelling — more at mansion Date: 15th century 1. of or relating to servants ; lowly 2. a. appropriate to a servant ; humble, servile <
answered in menial tones
b. lacking interest or dignity <
a menial task
menially adverb

New Collegiate Dictionary. 2001.


Look at other dictionaries:

  • menial — me‧ni‧al [ˈmiːniəl] adjective menial work needs little skill and is badly paid: • He worked his way through college by taking menial jobs in the vacation. * * * menial UK US /ˈmiːniəl/ adjective ► used to describe work that does not need any… …   Financial and business terms

  • Menial — Men ial, a. [OE. meneal, fr. meine, maine, household, OF. maisni[ e]e, maisnie, LL. mansionaticum. See {Mansion}, and cf. {Meine}, n., {Meiny}.] [1913 Webster] 1. Belonging to a retinue or train of servants; performing servile office; serving.… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • menial — ► ADJECTIVE ▪ (of work) requiring little skill and lacking prestige. ► NOUN ▪ a person with a menial job. ORIGIN Old French, from mesnee household …   English terms dictionary

  • Menial — Men ial, n. 1. A domestic servant or retainer, esp. one of humble rank; one employed in low or servile offices. [1913 Webster] 2. A person of a servile character or disposition. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • menial — index base (inferior), ignoble, inferior (lower in position), servile, subservient Burton s Legal Thesaurus. William C. Burton. 2006 …   Law dictionary

  • menial — servile, slavish, *subservient, obsequious Analogous words: abject, *mean, sordid, ignoble: *base, low, vile: groveling, wallowing (see WALLOW) …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • menial — [adj] lowly, low status abject, base, baseborn, boring, common, degrading, demeaning, dull, fawning, grovelling, humble, humdrum, ignoble, ignominious, low, mean, obeisant, obsequious, routine, servile, slavish, sorry, subservient, sycophantic,… …   New thesaurus

  • menial — [mē′nē əl, mēn′yəl] adj. [ME meynal < Anglo Fr meignal < meiniee, a family retainer, servant < OFr meisniee, household < L mansio: see MANSION] 1. of or fit for servants 2. servile; low; mean n. 1. a domestic servant 2. a servile, low …   English World dictionary

  • menial — me|ni|al1 [ˈmi:niəl] adj [Date: 1300 1400; : Anglo French; Origin: meiniee household , from Latin mansio; MANSION] menial work is boring, needs no skill, and is not important ▪ a menial job ▪ She did menial tasks about the house. menial 2 menial2 …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • menial — me|ni|al1 [ miniəl ] adjective menial work is boring or dirty and is considered to be of low status: a menial job in the kitchens menial me|ni|al 2 [ miniəl ] noun count someone who does menial work …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • menial — {{11}}menial (adj.) late 14c., pertaining to a household, from Anglo Fr. meignial, from O.Fr. mesnie household, earlier mesnede, from V.L. *mansionata, from L. mansionem dwelling (see MANSION (Cf. mansion)). Sense of lowly, humble, suited to a… …   Etymology dictionary

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