Adjective "menial" definition and examples



Definitions and examples


(of work) not requiring much skill and lacking prestige.
  1. 'Life for most was dull and without pleasantries, simply killing time with menial tasks.'
  2. 'Most of them have done menial work throughout their student life to help see them through university.'
  3. 'He finds he is not mean-spirited enough to be a criminal, not tough enough to be a police officer, and too smart to subject himself to menial work.'
  4. 'Many refugees who were professionals in their countries now find themselves performing menial tasks or manual labor.'
  5. 'Cheng said they would often look for menial work in restaurants or labouring work around the city.'
  6. 'His daily duties entailed preparing vegetables, doing the dishes and the other menial tasks that no one else wanted.'
  7. 'He busied himself, sweeping the visitor's quarters, washing their clothes and helping with the most menial work in fields.'
  8. 'The lack of confidence and education forced some to work on menial tasks.'
  9. 'When they hit the fleet, they face a year of menial tasks - scrubbing toilets, burning trash, picking up litter.'
  10. 'Approach everything menial as something special and it need never be menial again.'
  11. 'Owen lowered his gaze as they passed the two guards posted nearby and adopted the attitude of a menial servant busy running an errand.'
  12. 'Nor were we happy with how some of the churches educated, when they seemed to train the young primarily for menial pursuits such as domestics.'
  13. 'In the eleventh century the Norse kings probably had an immediate retinue of about ninety men, excluding menial servants and hangers on.'


A person with a menial job.
  1. 'While she was gone a menial came by to light the ceiling lamps, a touch with a burning taper on the end of a pole and the gas wicks glowed to life.'
  2. 'The stairs leading from the servants level to ground were well-travelled routes, with untold scores of menials scurrying to and fro between their masters and duties.'


1. lowly and sometimes degrading: menial work.

2. servile; submissive: menial attitudes.

3. pertaining to or suitable for domestic servants; humble: menial furnishings. noun

4. a domestic servant.

5. a servile person.

More examples(as adjective)

"jobs can be menial."

"tasks can be menial."

"works can be menial."

"servants can be menial."

"duties can be menial."

More examples++


Late Middle English (in the sense ‘domestic’): from Old French, from mesnee ‘household’.