meek -- noun , verb, adjective?

  • spielenschach

    Senior Member
    Portugal . Portuguese
    meek - humble in spirit or manner; suggesting retiring mildness or even cowed submissiveness (Example: "Meek and self-effacing")
    adjective: very docile (Example: "Meek as a mouse- Langston Hughes")


    Senior Member
    English, UK
    It's an adjective, although like many other adjectives it can be used on its own (without a noun) to indicate a particular group of people.

    Eg The meek shall inherit the earth.


    Senior Member
    Hello, Palastina10. Welcome to the forum.

    Have you tried a dictionary? Click here: meek

    It's always a good idea to try the Word Reference Dictionary before asking. Just type the word you're searching for in the window at the top of our screen. Here, I did it for you: Click.


    New Member
    thank you trisia & murphy for help ..
    I registered yesterday at the Forum and I did not know I could use a dictionary at the top of the page ..
    But thanks to help


    Senior Member
    AE, Español
    But, we do have a soft spot for the WordReference's search function, especially because it provide excellent examples as well as links to older threads that may be of some relevance.


    Senior Member
    Cantonese, Hong Kong
    Would you use "a meek woman" to refer to those who agree to anything from her boss, go along with what he says without question, perhaps a female equivalent to "yes-man"?


    Senior Member
    That sounds like an appropriate adjective to describe this woman, Red Giant. If I said this in her presence, I'd want to be standing far enough away from her so that she couldn't hit me over the head for making the remark. :) Even meek people can get annoyed.


    Senior Member
    Cantonese, Hong Kong
    Thanks for your help, owlman. Your explanation reinforces my feeling that "meek" has acquired somewhat pejorative overtones in certain contexts. I've read "meek Asian women" being used on a forum in the same sentence as "angry black women" and some other stereotypes. And some posters immediately called him out as a racist.:eek:


    Senior Member
    I found it rather baffling that so many dictionaries available online omit the noun use of meek. It is in the Oxford English Dictionary, however:

    B. n[oun]

    With pl[ural] concord. Now usu. with the: meek people as a class. Freq. with allusion (sometimes ironic) to Matthew 5:5....


    Senior Member
    American English
    But meek is not a common word, and I doubt that it is possible to use it without making "my reference". Have you found any example where people are plainly condemned for being "meek"?
    We inhabit different literary worlds. The opposite of “positive” is “negative” — not “condemned.”

    She was a meek little thing, afraid of her own shadow, and she lived out her days in the shadow of her rather larger mother.

    My self-created, common-enough, and not-positive sentence. Opposite your positive take on the word is my view of its other meanings: spineless, spiritless, overly submissive or compliant, docile under provocation from others (definitions from and my own viewpoint).

    Finally, meek is hardly an uncommon word.


    Senior Member
    English - England
    I couldn’t find any examples of negative meek on Google, where the adjective meek seems to refer almost invariably to Christ the Lord.
    I found this unambiguously negative use of adjective meek in the British National Corpus:
    In a tone of meek appeasement, the letter draws attention to the arrest by Hong Kong police of anti-China demonstrators outside the agency's National Day reception.
    I believe that meek is used in a negative way here because, in the same breath as meek, the writer condemns the writers of the letter for appeasement. I assume therefore that the adjective meek is used in used in a similarly condemnatory tone. I suppose that this is the only way in which one can determine that an adjective is being used in a negative way.
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