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[suhp-lee-uh nt] /ˈsʌp li ənt/
a person who supplicates; petitioner.
expressive of supplication, as words, actions, etc.
Origin of suppliant
late Middle English
1400-50; late Middle English < Middle French, present participle of supplier < Latin supplicāre to beseech, supplicate. See -ant
Related forms
suppliantly, adverb
suppliantness, noun
unsuppliant, adjective
Can be confused
supplant, supplicant, suppliant.

Suppliants, The

a tragedy (c463 b.c.) by Aeschylus.
a tragedy (c420 b.c.) by Euripides. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for suppliants
Historical Examples
  • suppliants and attendants stood outside the line of pillars, and the officers of the court within.

    Museum of Antiquity L. W. Yaggy
  • Now then, will you reject those who appear as suppliants before you?

  • Their envoys came to Constantinople, and were treated as suppliants.

    Constantinople William Holden Hutton
  • In the Veda we are told that the suppliants "squeeze the soma with stones."

  • He could only lay his hand gently on the suppliants head, and uplift his eyes to heaven in prayer.

    Darkness and Dawn Frederic W. Farrar
  • Then it struck her that in the character of suppliants they were not behaving properly.

  • At a solemn festival these three children were sent by their destitute mother into the theatre, dressed in the garb of suppliants.

    Women of Early Christianity Alfred Brittain
  • They can be equal only before the law, or in the eye of the law, or as suppliants for justice.

  • The stream of suppliants for his favor was all but exhausted, and he awaited to give the last audience of the day.

    The Mystics Katherine Cecil Thurston
  • Only those who fell as suppliants at the feet of the archons' wives were spared.

British Dictionary definitions for suppliants


expressing entreaty or supplication
noun, adjective
another word for supplicant
Derived Forms
suppliantly, adverb
suppliance, noun
Word Origin
C15: from French supplier to beseech, from Latin supplicāre to kneel in entreaty; see supple
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 suppliants



early 15c., "humble petitioner," from Middle French suppliant, originally present participle of supplier "to plead humbly, entreat, beg, pray," from Latin supplicare "beg, beseech" (see supplication).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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