follow Dictionary.com

What's the difference between i.e. and e.g.?

sycophant

[sik-uh-fuh nt, -fant, sahy-kuh-] /ˈsɪk ə fənt, -ˌfænt, ˈsaɪ kə-/
noun
1.
a self-seeking, servile flatterer; fawning parasite.
Origin
1530-1540
1530-40; < Latin sȳcophanta < Greek sȳkophántēs informer, equivalent to sŷko(n) fig + phan- (stem of phaínein to show) + -tēs agentive suffix
Related forms
sycophantic, sycophantical, sycophantish, adjective
sycophantically, sycophantishly, adverb
sycophantism, noun
Synonyms
toady, yes man, flunky, fawner, flatterer.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source
British Dictionary definitions for sycophantism

sycophant

/ˈsɪkəfənt/
noun
1.
a person who uses flattery to win favour from individuals wielding influence; toady
Derived Forms
sycophancy, noun
Word Origin
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''
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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for sycophantism

sycophant

n.

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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for sycophant

Some English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for sycophantism

0
26
Scrabble Words With Friends

Nearby words for sycophantism