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or lacquey

[lak-ee] /ˈlæk i/
noun, plural lackeys.
a servile follower; toady.
a footman or liveried manservant.
verb (used with object), lackeyed, lackeying.
to attend as a lackey does.
Origin of lackey
1520-30; < Middle French laquais, perhaps < Catalan lacayo, alacayo < ?
Related forms
unlackeyed, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for lackey
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • The door opened, and the lackey motioned to the two gentlemen to enter.

    Old Fritz and the New Era Louise Muhlbach
  • You talk glibly of ruining—but then you talk to a groom and lackey.

  • I have my lackey, who not only is a faithful fellow, but who has even occasionally aided me in this sort of thing.

    Marguerite de Valois Alexandre Dumas
  • The lackey who was summoned did not know where the lady might be found, nor when she might return to Paris.

    The Suitors of Yvonne Raphael Sabatini
  • Mr. Warde fell for the Fairbanks grin, and as a first part assigned him the role of François, the lackey, in "Richelieu."

    Laugh and Live Douglas Fairbanks
British Dictionary definitions for lackey


a servile follower; hanger-on
a liveried male servant or valet
a person who is treated like a servant
when intr, often foll by for. to act as a lackey (to)
Also (rare) lacquey
Word Origin
C16: via French laquais, from Old French, perhaps from Catalan lacayo, alacayo; perhaps related to alcalde
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for lackey

1520s, "footman, running footman, valet," from Middle French laquais "foot soldier, footman, servant" (15c.), of unknown origin; perhaps from Old Provençal lacai, from lecai "glutton, covetous," from lecar "to lick." Alternative etymology is via French from Catalan alacay, from Arabic al-qadi "the judge." Yet another guess traces it through Spanish lacayo, from Italian lacchè, from Modern Greek oulakes, from Turkish ulak "runner, courier." This suits the original sense better, but OED says Italian lacchè is from French. Sense of "servile follower" appeared 1580s. As a political term of abuse it dates from 1939 in communist jargon.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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