Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • adj. Showing patience and humility; gentle.
  • adj. Easily imposed on; submissive.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Humble, modest, meager, or self-effacing.
  • adj. Submissive, despirited, or of broken will.
  • v. (of horses) To tame; to break.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Mild of temper; not easily provoked or orritated; patient under injuries; not vain, or haughty, or resentful; forbearing; submissive.
  • adj. Evincing mildness of temper, or patience; characterized by mildness or patience
  • transitive v. To make meek; to nurture in gentleness and humility.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Gentle or mild of temper; self-controlled and gentle; not easily provoked or irritated; forbearing under injury or annoyance.
  • Pliant; yielding; submissive.
  • Humble; unpretentious.
  • = Syn. 1. Mild, etc. (see gentle), humble, lowly.
  • To make meek; soften; render mild, pliant, or submissive; humble or bring low.
  • To submit; become meek.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adj. very docile
  • adj. evidencing little spirit or courage; overly submissive or compliant
  • adj. humble in spirit or manner; suggesting retiring mildness or even cowed submissiveness

Etymologies

Middle English meke, of Scandinavian origin; akin to Old Norse mjūkr, soft.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Middle English meek, meke, meoc, from Old Norse mjúkr 'soft' (compare Swedish mjuk 'soft', and Danish myg 'supple'), from Proto-Germanic *mūkaz (compare Dutch muik 'soft, overripe', dialectal German mauch 'dry and decayed, rotten', Mauche 'malanders'), from Proto-Indo-European *(s)meug, *meuk- 'slick, slippery; to slip' (compare Old English smūgan 'to slide, slip', Welsh mwyth 'soft, weak', Latin emungere 'to blow one's nose', Tocharian A muk 'to let go, give up', Lithuanian mùkti 'to slip away from', Old Church Slavonic mŭčati 'to chase', Ancient Greek myssesthai 'to blow the nose', Sanskrit muñcati 'he releases, lets loose'). (Wiktionary)

Examples

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  • JM reckons it sometimes seems that the meek shall inherit the hurt.

    August 26, 2011

  • As in 'The meek shall inherit the earth, after the rest of us have done with it.'

    February 11, 2008