Definition of slavish in English:



  • 1Servile or submissive.

    ‘he noted the slavish, feudal respect they had for her’
    • ‘For all of Kumaratunga's talk of ‘a partnership’ with the US, the real relationship is one of slavish subservience in all spheres - economic, political and military.’
    • ‘It is time Bulgarian media threw off their slavish following of manipulated arguments from those in power and see with their own eyes.’
    • ‘Steve looked at them with contemptuous pity, these men that lived narrow, slavish lives in cooped-up places, men caught in ruts, graves with both ends kicked out…’
    • ‘And except for a few slavish devotees too intimidated by her will and less concerned with her methods, it's difficult to come away without becoming more powerful and original, yourself.’
    • ‘It is rather pitiful that Cork hospitals are being so slavish in considering following the lead set down by Dublin.’
    • ‘Our dependence on these foreign goods leads us to our slavish respect for numbers.’
    • ‘Bacon emphasized that this ordeal of experiment was to be heroic testing, not the torture of a slavish and submissive victim.’
    • ‘Had the administration paid heed to public opinion, not out of slavish deference but out of respect, we would've seen a different tax cut, and, with any luck, a sustainable popular majority for conservatism.’
    • ‘A variety of public institutions with stands at the festival seem to have tried to outdo each other in their sycophancy and slavish devotion.’
    • ‘For the first time in decades, for example, governors and legislators under fiscal pressure are rethinking their slavish devotion to pouring massive funds into state university systems.’
    • ‘Yesterday in the face of all this, even the state-owned Herald newspaper was finding it difficult to maintain its usual slavish support for government policies.’
    • ‘Such slavish acceptance of Santa as fact may well be happily entertaining for parents, but a build-up of dangerously pure faith brings with it the threat of a crushing letdown when that heart - warming belief is shattered.’
    • ‘But like Saint Augustine, I eventually came to realize the double-minded futility of pretending to exalt Reason while spending my days in slavish service to Kundalini and the lizard brain.’
    • ‘I guess that means that I am a slavish follower of the ‘in’ crowd that I accepted an invitation to the Adelaide Festival of Arts 2006 program launch at the airport.’
    • ‘Not only did the agreement go from ‘ignoble’ to ‘long-overdue,’ but the Frist commendation went from muted to slavish.’
    • ‘It shows a society that, white or red, encourages rapacity, self-deception and slavish respect for authority.’
    • ‘The truth is she can hardly imagine it, being so wrapped up in the day-to-day dance between her two sports and her slavish devotion to staying young and fit.’
    • ‘It is a vindication that the colonial mindset and slavish mentality are still alive among some Indians.’
    • ‘Travel stories can be a dodgy proposition, quite often varying between the detached, amused air of Western superiority and the slavish worship of all things foreign.’
    • ‘Wu Xun, it was argued, had in his slavish dependence on the feudal upper classes helped to perpetuate the old system and had actually helped to propagate its ideology among his fellow peasants.’
    servile, subservient, fawning, obsequious, sycophantic, excessively deferential, toadying, ingratiating, unctuous, grovelling, cringing, toadyish, sycophantish, abject, craven, humble, uriah heepish, self-abasing
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 Showing no attempt at originality.
      ‘a slavish adherence to protocol’
      • ‘Thus far, especially in Scotland where the slavish adherence to the received wisdom of the unions is strongest, there is little sign of that thistle being grasped.’
      • ‘The Senate Democrats' slavish adherence to the doctrine of feminism has led them to seek to bar adherents to Catholic doctrine from certain judicial posts, in violation of the Constitution.’
      • ‘There are those who believe that perhaps we've confused our responsibilities with the slavish adherence to the Lecoup strategy.’
      • ‘There is a difference, he observes, between intelligent decentralized decisionmaking and slavish imitation.’
      • ‘I am not suggesting for one moment that there is any moral equivalence between Tyson and Mandela, but a slavish adherence to the legal process ends up with the baby and the bathwater both getting chucked out.’
      • ‘But Kenan Malik argues that slavish adherence to the multiculturalist approach denies us our freedoms and diversity.’
      • ‘But if he's right, it's a strange situation - slavish adherence to a flawed assumption, which produces an outcome that pleases only one segment of the audience and alienates many.’
      • ‘Divorcing it of its context would strip away much of that heady period glamour to produce a diluted facsimile - even with slavish adherence to the original scripts.’
      • ‘‘After a decade of slavish adherence to central targets the evidence is that they simply don't work,’ said Mr Willis.’
      • ‘Such new patterns or ornaments could be used both externally and internally in contemporary designs and break the slavish adherence to bare steel or frilly 19th century mimicry.’
      • ‘The plot, veering between slavish adherence and badly conceived alterations, has become incomprehensible, driven by coincidence of the implausible rather than that of the existential variety.’
      • ‘Nowadays, the emphasis has shifted to free-style, mixed-system practice where slavish adherence to traditional style is frowned upon, because it is seen to limit the survival options of a combatant.’
      • ‘Their route to the top 10 was simply via ear-grabbing originality, rather than slavish imitation of current trends.’
      • ‘The provincial governments are not far behind in their slavish adherence to the OECD's dictums on how to run your government.’
      • ‘The product either encourages slavish emulation of adult behavior, or assumes that what is enjoyable for children must be revolting for adults.’
      • ‘Not for Thompson a slavish adherence to prudence, that is considered imperative in a contracting football market.’
      • ‘This arises largely and insidiously from the slavish adoption here of virtually all Americanisms - some invaluable, the majority deplorable.’
      • ‘In their self-regard as the last keepers of the flame of Western culture, this ex-dissident class renders themselves slavish imitators.’
      • ‘If nothing else, they will get the reader thinking about how they can play the opening in chess in a way that doesn't require a slavish adherence to 10 or 20 moves of opening theory.’
      • ‘Perhaps they don't care, but that is contradicted by their slavish adherence to the latest fashions.’
      unoriginal, uninspired, unimaginative, uninventive, non-innovative, imitative, derivative
      View synonyms