meek

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English[edit]

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Etymology[edit]

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').

Pronunciation[edit]

Adjective[edit]

meek (comparative meeker, superlative meekest)

  1. Humble, modest, meager, or self-effacing.
    • 1848: Charles Dickens, Dombey and Son
      Mrs. Wickam was a meek woman...who was always ready to pity herself, or to be pitied, or to pity anybody else...
    • "Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth" (Matthew 5:5)
  2. Submissive, dispirited.
    • 1920: Sinclair Lewis, Main Street [1]
      What if they were wolves instead of lambs? They'd eat her all the sooner if she was meek to them. Fight or be eaten.

Synonyms[edit]

Translations[edit]

Verb[edit]

meek (third-person singular simple present meeks, present participle meeking, simple past and past participle meeked)

  1. (US) (of horses) To tame; to break.