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Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English

menial

I.adjective
COLLOCATIONS FROM CORPUS
■ ADVERB
most
▪ Ten workers performing the most menial tasks imaginable were picked at random from the processing line.
▪ She performed her duties faithfully, reserving to herself the most menial tasks.
▪ A kitchen maid was usually the most menial servant in a house.
▪ Today they are qualified for only the most menial employment.
▪ Almost whatever her personal qualities, she can not hope for anything other than the most menial of work.
■ NOUN
job
▪ Once here, there are only the most menial jobs open to them - shop-girls, domestic servants, seamstresses.
▪ I said get me off these menial jobs.
▪ In Durban he drifted into a succession of menial jobs before joining the Natal Mounted Police.
▪ Edwin worked fitfully at his menial job of freight clerk, continuing to disappoint his family.
task
▪ Ten workers performing the most menial tasks imaginable were picked at random from the processing line.
▪ But hiring such people means that you have to pitch in and be willing to do the menial tasks yourself.
▪ As well as providing the bulk of labour for large plantations, they carried out menial tasks in Colombo and other urban centres.
▪ She performed her duties faithfully, reserving to herself the most menial tasks.
EXAMPLES FROM OTHER ENTRIES
▪ Belknap was unable to find anything but menial labor.
EXAMPLES FROM CORPUS
▪ But hiring such people means that you have to pitch in and be willing to do the menial tasks yourself.
▪ Even well-trained women were forced into menial labor.
▪ I had acquired the true menial mentality.
▪ She performed her duties faithfully, reserving to herself the most menial tasks.
▪ Ten workers performing the most menial tasks imaginable were picked at random from the processing line.
▪ The outcome of this educational vacuum is low-paid, menial work.
▪ This mournfully bright menial Val wore high heels and a black beret.
▪ Today they are qualified for only the most menial employment.
II.noun
EXAMPLES FROM CORPUS
▪ As such, they were treated as menials, on a level with cooks, footmen and other servants.
▪ Other cartoons are lifeless; plenty of sitcoms offer droll toddlers and clever menials, bringing down their betters with disparaging asides.
▪ They were no longer the oppressed, wretched teen menials who must take orders, toe the line.
▪ To the notables and the men of affairs, Sergeant Janeway was a picturesque menial at the vestibule of inside dope.
The Collaborative International Dictionary

Menial

Menial \Men"ial\, a. [OE. meneal, fr. meine, maine, household, OF. maisni['e]e, maisnie, LL. mansionaticum. See Mansion, and cf. Meine, n., Meiny.]

  1. Belonging to a retinue or train of servants; performing servile office; serving.

    Two menial dogs before their master pressed.
    --Dryden.

  2. Pertaining to servants, esp. domestic servants; servile; low; mean; as, menial tasks. `` Menial offices.''
    --Swift.

Menial

Menial \Men"ial\, n.

  1. A domestic servant or retainer, esp. one of humble rank; one employed in low or servile offices.

  2. A person of a servile character or disposition.

Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

menial

late 14c., "pertaining to a household," from Anglo-French meignial, from Old French mesnie "household," earlier mesnede, from Vulgar Latin *mansionata, from Latin mansionem "dwelling" (see mansion). Sense of "lowly, humble, suited to a servant" is recorded by 1670s.

menial

"domestic servant," late 14c., meynyal; see menial (adj.).

WordNet

menial

adj. used of unskilled work (especially domestic work) [syn: humble, lowly]

menial

n. a domestic servant [syn: dogsbody]

Wiktionary

menial

a. 1 Of or relating to work normally performed by a servant. 2 Of or relating to unskilled work. (rfex) 3 servile; low; mean n. A servant, especially a domestic servant.

Usage examples of "menial".

The small number of muties who handled menial tasks inside the berm were hobbled by chains and shackles on their ankles.

He would lose the linoleum shop, and they would put him to work in some menial office job at the mill, or in the brokerage, or perhaps even in the shipping office of one of their many small businesses.

It is strong and steadfast, though, and in time is always victorious over its menial opposition, for what is history but the past tense of truth, and it is justly said that veritas numquam perit, truth never dies.

Too proud to plead for the charity of these intransigent in-laws, she was depositing everything he had left her to prepay the raising of their daughter in the style to which she should be entitled: the fact that she herself would thus be forced to take any menial job for her own subsistence was not to cloud the childhood of Denise.

Laughing, Joe seated himself on a dead cotton-wood trunk near his beanfield, lit a cigarette, and watched the rattletraps heading down the highway toward menial fifty-cent-an-hour, maybe a dollar-an-hour, at most a dollar-sixty, a dollar-eighty-an-hour jobs in Dona Luz and Chamisaville.

Yawer Shahid Mahmud was above menial tasks like guard duty, but every day he stopped by for an hour or two so he could glower at the ferengi.

The menial stood gazing at the form of Shelburne and toward the robot beyond.

Augustus or Trajan would have blushed at employing the meanest of the Romans in those menial offices, which, in the household and bedchamber of a limited monarch, are so eagerly solicited by the proudest nobles of Britain.

Both Christie and Bullen were compelled to assist in paddling, as well as to labor at the most menial tasks when in camp, receiving as a recompense only kicks and blows.

Some, like the human poor, were unemployed, for there were more menial jobs than bots to fill them.

A slave girl in the drab gray breechclout of all slave menials walked around the corner before us carrying a huge earthenware jar of water.

At the elbow of every famishing passenger stood a beneficent coal-black glossy fairy, in a white linen apron and jacket, serving him with that alacrity and kindliness and grace which make the negro waiter the master, not the slave of his calling, which disenthrall it of servility, and constitute him your eager host, not your menial, for the moment.

Our ancestors, during nearly two centuries of poverty which followed the first settlement, turned their hands to the humblest ways of getting a livelihood, became shoemakers, or blacksmiths or tailors, or did the hardest and most menial and rudest work of the farm, shoveled gravel or chopped wood, without any of the effect on their character which would be likely to be felt from the permanent pursuit of such an occupation in England or Germany.

Augustus or Trajan would have blushed at employing the meanest of the Romans in those menial offices, which, in the household and bedchamber of a limited monarch, are so eagerly solicited by the proudest nobles of Britain.

He possessed few nonmedical skills except menial ones, and no one had yet been injured except the pilot, who had apparently been quite old, and had died of a heart attack.