sycophancy

Definitions

  • WordNet 3.6
    • n sycophancy fawning obsequiousness
    • ***
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • n Sycophancy The character or characteristic of a sycophant. "The sycophancy of A.Philips had prejudiced Mr. Addison against Pope."
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n sycophancy The character or characteristics of a sycophant; hence, mean tale-bearing; obsequious flattery; servility.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • n Sycophancy the behaviour of a sycophant: mean tale-bearing: obsequious flattery: servility—also Sycophant′ism
    • ***

Etymology

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
Cf. L. sycophantia, deceit, Gr. false accusation
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
Gr. sykophantēs, usually said to mean one who informed against persons exporting figs from Attica or plundering the sacred fig-trees; but more prob. one who brings figs to light by shaking the tree, hence one who makes rich men yield up their fruit by informations and other vile arts—sykon, a fig, phainein, to show.

Usage

In literature:

Now the present writer will not join in such sycophancy.
"The Romany Rye a sequel to "Lavengro"" by George Borrow
He excelled in all the arts of the sycophant: The pleasure of the guards was his delight, their displeasure, his poignant grief.
"The Escape of a Princess Pat" by George Pearson
They are humble enough to their masters; ages of oppression have taught them sycophancy.
"The Mission of Janice Day" by Helen Beecher Long
None, even among Bismarck's modern sycophants, would pretend that their hero was the inventor of German unity.
"Great Men and Famous Women. Vol. 4 of 8" by Various
This has been said and reiterated, until it descends into the lowest depths of sycophancy and utter folly.
"Donahoe's Magazine, Volume 15, No. 2, February 1886" by Various
There was no sycophancy on the part of the young man, no patronage on that of the employer.
"Macaria" by Augusta Jane Evans Wilson
It is bad to be a sycophant; it is bad to be a spy.
"Critical and Historical Essays, Volume III (of 3)" by Thomas Babington Macaulay
Your sycophants bow to the power, and not to the person.
"The Buccaneer" by Mrs. S. C. Hall
This was no common beggar, with sycophant whine and forced civility.
"The Golden House" by Mrs. Woods Baker
This sycophant greeted us with effusion.
"The Belovéd Vagabond" by William J. Locke
De Soto, intensely proud, was not at all disposed to play the sycophant before his patron.
"Ferdinand De Soto, The Discoverer of the Mississippi" by John S. C. Abbott
Her contempt of sycophancy, and bold independence led her constantly into trouble.
"Amaryllis at the Fair" by Richard Jefferies
Suppose even Joe, who seemed as true as Williams, should prove to be a selfish sycophant.
"Money Magic" by Hamlin Garland
Force creates, habit perpetuates, reason the sycophant sanctions.
"A Modern Symposium" by G. Lowes Dickinson
By every rule governing man's attitude toward man, the Senor Don should have been the bully, and the youngster the cringing sycophant.
"The Missourian" by Eugene P. (Eugene Percy) Lyle
You were lately observing that all English literary men were sycophants?
"Lavengro The Scholar, The Gypsy, The Priest" by George Borrow
A rough friend is more valuable than a hypocritical sycophant.
"Talkers" by John Bate
It was not until all hope of turning sycophancy to further account was gone that he took up with patriotism.
"Harper's New Monthly Magazine, Volume 1, No. 2, July, 1850." by Various
Those of later times, sycophants.
"The Writings Of Thomas Paine, Volume III. 1791-1804" by Thomas Paine
Some would draw a veil over the errors of their country; they are unprofitable servants, or they are sycophants.
"The Forerunners" by Romain Rolland
***

In poetry:

She departed well pleas'd, as a gamester who'd won,
Or sycophant promis'd a pension.
"A courtship like this, which so sweetly begun,
A union must be his intention."
"The Impatient Lass" by William Hutton
When we learned to read it with our rod,
reflected light revealed
a lead mirror, a bruised shield
seamed with scars and shadow-soiled.
A half faced sycophant, its glitter borrowed,
rode around our throne.
"Landing on the Moon" by May Swenson
But the sweetness of mercy brew'd bitter destruction, and the
frighten'd monarchs come back;
Each comes in state, with his train—hangman, priest, tax-gatherer,
Soldier, lawyer, lord, jailer, and sycophant.
"Europe, The 72d And 73d Years Of These States" by Walt Whitman
Time shifts the scenes--
The haughty prince and the most abject slave,
Who cowered and trembled 'neath his austere glance,
The fawning and ignoble sycophant,
The courtier and the basest serf, have met
On equal terms beneath the silent dust.
"Metabole." by Alfred Castner King

In news:

Blinkered, '70s-dwelling, laminate-waving, trend-tracking sycophants.
Sycophants like George Tenet and more time watching Al Jazeera television.
I t's hard to be an Obama sycophant these days.
It's hard to be an Obama sycophant these days.
Joe Biden's—and the President's— Sycophancy Problem.
Hacks, Sycophants, Adventurers, and Heroes: Madison's Commanders in the War of 1812 .
When it comes to Saudi Arabia, sycophancy is too often bipartisan.
The world — from tooth fairies and sleigh-riding philanthropists, to steroid-using jocks and workplace sycophants — is shot through with lies and populated by the truth-challenged.
Why did I allow so many sycophants and bad influences to be around me.
Are you dying to see Orange County's power broker s (and their sycophants) in person.
Amazingly, all of the sycophants who celebrated rock 'n' roll throughout its history have shown up for its funeral.
Wright Calls Those Who Question Obama's Religion "Sycophants".
According to press reports from sycophants in the mainstream media, Barack Obama and Vladimir Putin had a productive, 2-hour, private meeting of the minds during this week's G-20 summit in Los Cabos, Mexico.
One of the perils of celebrity is that with money and fame piling up almost exponentially, sycophants bombard your personal orbit -- often looking very respectable -- and seek to profit off your talents.
It is time for even the liberal sycophants to start standing up against Barack Obama's transgressions.
***