American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- n. One who is privately employed to perform domestic services.
- n. One who is publicly employed to perform services, as for a government.
- n. One who expresses submission, recognizance, or debt to another: your obedient servant.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. One who serves or attends, whether voluntarily or involuntarily; a person employed by another, and subject to his orders; one who exerts himself or herself, or labors, for the benefit of a master or an employer; an attendant; a subordinate assistant; an agent. The earlier uses of this word seem to imply protection on the part of the sovereign, lord, or master, and the notion of clientage, the relation involved being one in no sense degrading to the inferior. In modern use it denotes specifically a domestic or menial helper. (See , below.) In law a servant is a person who, for a consideration, is bound to render service under the legal authority of another, such other being called the master. Agents of various kinds are sometimes included in the general designation of servants; but the term agent implies discretionary power, and responsibility in the mode of performing duty, such as is not usually implied in the term servant: as, the uniformed servants of a railway-company. See
- n. Specifically.
- n. A bondman or bondwoman; a slave.
- n. (b A person hired for a specified time to do manual or field labor; a laborer.
- n. A person in domestic service; a household or personal attendant; a domestic; a menial. An upper servant is one who has assistants under him or her, as a butler, a head cook, or a head coachman; an under servant is one who takes orders from an upper one, as an under-nurse, a scullery-maid, or a groom.
- n. One in a state of subjection.
- n. One who dedicates himself to the service of another; one who professes himself ready to do the will of another. See phrases below.
- n. A professed lover. The correlative term mistress is still in use.
- To subject; subordinate.
- To furnish with one or more servants.
- n. One who serves another, providing help in some manner.
- n. One who is hired to perform regular household or other duties, and receives compensation. As opposed to a slave.
- v. obsolete To subject.
GNU Webster's 1913
- n. 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.
- n. One in a state of subjection or bondage.
- n. obsolete A professed lover or suitor; a gallant.
- v. obsolete To subject.
- n. in a subordinate position
- n. a person working in the service of another (especially in the household)
- From Old French servant. (Wiktionary)
- Middle English, from Old French, from present participle of servir, to serve; see serve. (American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
“Use, _I have the honor to be, Sir, your obedient servant; Very respectfully, your most obedient servant_; etc., etc.”
“Yours truly; Truly yours; Yours respectfully; Very respectfully yours_, etc. In official letters use _I have the honor to be, Sir, your obedient servant; Very respectfully, your most obedient servant_.”
“Not a single instance is recorded, of a servant being sold by any one but himself; not a case, either under the patriarchal, or the Mosaic systems, in which a _master sold his servant_.”
“Thou shalt not deliver unto his master," &c., sets the servant free from his _authority_ and of course, from all those liabilities of injury, to which _as his servant_, he was subjected, but not from the obligation of legal contracts.”
“According to Paul, Philemon was to receive Onesimus "_not_ as a servant;" -- according to Stuart, he was to receive him "_as a servant_!”
“NOT _now as a servant, but above a servant_, a brother beloved, especially to me, but how much more unto thee, both in the flesh and in the Lord.”
“St. Paul says, "The heir, as long as he is a child, differeth nothing from a servant, [the Hebrew word translated _servant_ means _slave_] though he be lord of all.”
“_servant_, but _above_ a servant, a _brother beloved_, especially to me, but how much more unto thee, both in the flesh and in the Lord.”
“_servant_, but _above_ a servant, a brother beloved, especially to me, but how much more unto thee, both in the flesh and in the Lord.”
“If you want to hire a maid servant in this city, she will not allow you the title of _master_, or herself to be called a _servant_; and you may think yourself favoured if she condescends to inform you when she means to spend an evening abroad; if you grumble at all this, she will leave you at a moment's warning; after which you will find it very difficult to procure another on any terms.”
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