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Webster's Dictionary 1828 - Online Edition

Webster's Dictionary 1828

Americal Dictionary of the English Language

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Servant

SERV'ANT, [L. servans, from servo, to keep or hold; properly one that waits, that is, stops, holds, attends, or one that is bound.]

1. A person, male or female, that attends another for the pupose of performing menial offices for him, ot who is employed by another for such offices or for other labor, and is subject to his command. The word is correlative to master. Servant differs from slave, as the servant's subjection to a master is voluntary, the slave's is not. Every slave is a servant but every servant is not a slave.

Servants are of various kinds; as household or domestic servants, menial servants; laborers, who are hired by the day, week or other term, and do not reside with their employers, ot if they board in the same house, are employed abroad and not in the domestic services; apprentices, who are bound for a term of years to serve a master, for the purpose of learning his trade or occupation.

In a legal sense, stewards, factors, bailifs and other agents, are servants for the time they are employed in such character, as they act in subordination to others.

2. One in a state of subjection.

3.In Scripture, a slave; a bondman; one purchased for money, and who was compelled to serve till the year of jubilee; also, one purchased for a term of years.

4. The subject of a king; as the servents of David or of Saul.

The Syrians became servants to David. 2 Samuel 8:2.

5. A person who voluntarily serves another or acts as his minister; as joshua was the servant of Moses, and the apostles the apostles the servants of Christ. So Christ himself is called a servant, Isaiah 42:1. Moses is called the servant of the Lord, Duet. 34.

6. A person employed or used as an unstrument in accomplishing God's purposes of mercy or wrath. So Nebuchadnezzar is called the servant of God. Jeremiah 25:9.

7. One who yields obedience to another. The saints are called servants of God, or of righteousness; and the wicked are called the servants of sin.

8. That which yields obedience, or acts on subordination as an instrument.

9. One that makes painful sacrifices in compliance with the weakness or wants of others.

10. A person of base condition or ignoble spirit.

11. A word of civilith. I am, sir, your humble or obedient servant.

Our betters tell us they are our humble servants, but understand us to be their slaves. Swift.

Servant of servants, one debased to the lowest condition of servitude.

SERV'ANT, verb transitive To subject. [Not in use.]