Also found in: Thesaurus, Legal, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.
Related to sycophant: obsequiously
A person who attempts to gain advantage by flattering influential people or behaving in a servile manner.
[Latin sȳcophanta, informer, slanderer, from Greek sūkophantēs, informer, from sūkon phainein, to show a fig (perhaps originally said of denouncers of theft or exportation of figs or of persons making a lascivious gesture resembling a fig) : sūkon, fig + phainein, to show; see bhā-1 in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
syc′o·phan′tic (-făn′tĭk), syc′o·phan′ti·cal (-tĭ-kəl) adj.
a person who uses flattery to win favour from individuals wielding influence; toady
[C16: from Latin sӯcophanta, from Greek sukophantēs, literally: the person showing a fig, apparently referring to the fig sign used in making an accusation, from sukon fig + phainein to show; sense probably developed from 'accuser' to 'informer, flatterer']
syc•o•phant(ˈsɪk ə fənt, -ˌfænt, ˈsaɪ kə-)
a self-seeking, servile flatterer; fawning parasite.
[1530–40; < Latin sȳcophanta < Greek sȳkophántēs informer =sŷko(n) fig + phan- (s. of phaínein to show) + -tēs agent suffix]
syc`o•phan′tic, syc`o•phant′ish, adj.
syc`o•phan′ti•cal•ly, syc`o•phant′ish•ly, adv.
Switch to new thesaurus
|Noun||1.||sycophant - a person who tries to please someone in order to gain a personal advantage|
apple polisher, bootlicker, fawner, groveler, groveller, truckler - someone who humbles himself as a sign of respect; who behaves as if he had no self-respect
goody-goody - a person who behaves extremely well in order to please a superior