sycophant

[ sik-uh-fuhnt, -fant, sahy-kuh- ]SEE DEFINITION OF sycophant

EXAMPLES FROM THE WEB FOR SYCOPHANT

Shakespeare was a sycophant, a flunkey if you will, but nothing worse.

People will say he was a vulgar parvenu, a sycophant, a snob—heaven knows what.

The sycophant recognised the arms on the panel and collapsed.

"Then a sycophant he is and will remain," said the Alexandrian with a laugh.

Though, like most of his order, zealous for monarchy, he was no sycophant.

He bowed and smiled—the smile of a courtier and sycophant—a smile I hated.

Hold your tongue; you are but a sycophant, and deserve punishment.

If Absalom is a type of the demagogue, Shimei surely is a type of the sycophant.

"Don't go any nearer to them," said the Judge, in the tones of a sycophant.

Now, to my thinking, the most loathsome of all characters is a sycophant.

WORD ORIGIN

1530s (in Latin form sycophanta), "informer, talebearer, slanderer," from Latin sycophanta, from Greek sykophantes, originally "one who shows the fig," from sykon "fig" + phanein "to show." "Showing the fig" was a vulgar gesture made by sticking the thumb between two fingers, a display which vaguely resembles a fig, itself symbolic of a vagina (sykon also meant "vulva"). The story goes that prominent politicians in ancient Greece held aloof from such inflammatory gestures, but privately urged their followers to taunt their opponents. The sense of "mean, servile flatterer" is first recorded in English 1570s.

MORE RELATED WORDS FOR SYCOPHANT

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