Roget's 21st Century Thesaurus, Third Edition Copyright © 2013 by the Philip Lief Group.

EXAMPLES FROM THE WEB FOR SYCOPHANTIC

His age may have been fifty; his air was mean and sycophantic.

Fifanti's mean, sycophantic air fell away from him as by magic.

If he was at all sycophantic, it was his will rather than his nature to be so.

The Manager smiled the sycophantic smile of one who worships Mammon.

It is not pity—whining, sycophantic pity—alone that will do them good.

The world, with its sycophantic smile, now flatters, where it once frowned.

That was said not vainly or presumptuously, but in reproof of sycophantic courtiers.

Guests, sycophantic people of all sorts were taken to consider it.

Sycophantic he might have been, but he was neither ungrateful nor vindictive.

If there was a drop of sycophantic blood in his veins, he had yet to reveal it.

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 SYCOPHANTIC

Roget's 21st Century Thesaurus, Third Edition Copyright © 2013 by the Philip Lief Group.