sycophantic

Definitions

  • WordNet 3.6
    • adj sycophantic attempting to win favor by flattery
    • adj sycophantic attempting to win favor from influential people by flattery
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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • a Sycophantic Of or pertaining to a sycophant; characteristic of a sycophant; meanly or obsequiously flattering; courting favor by mean adulation; parasitic. "To be cheated and ruined by a sycophantical parasite.""Sycophantic servants to the King of Spain."
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Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • sycophantic Of or pertaining to a sycophant; characteristic of a sycophant; obsequiously flattering; parasitic; courting favor by mean adulation.
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Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • adjs Sycophantic like a sycophant: obsequiously flattering: parasitic
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Etymology

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
Cf. Gr. slanderous
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:

Thus there is nothing really mean or sycophantic about the popular literature which makes all its marquises seven feet high.
"Heretics" by Gilbert K. Chesterton
The trusty had a silly, sycophantic manner of raising one hand in salute.
"The Financier" by Theodore Dreiser
Our reading is mendicant and sycophantic.
"Essays, First Series" by Ralph Waldo Emerson
His age may have been fifty; his air was mean and sycophantic.
"The Strolling Saint" by Raphael Sabatini
The men who praised Cesare, the historian tells us, were sycophantic courtiers.
"The Life of Cesare Borgia" by Raphael Sabatini
She's amazing, considering the sickly, sycophantic atmosphere she's been brought up in.
"The Fashionable Adventures of Joshua Craig" by David Graham Phillips
To no one, however, was he so completely sycophantic as to the Archdeacon.
"The Cathedral" by Sir Hugh Walpole
Yet they made themselves sycophantic servants of the King of Spain.
"An English Grammar" by W. M. Baskervill and J. W. Sewell
Thus, he shows the bad tendencies of avarice and love-intrigues, and the meanness of sycophantism and legacy-hunting.
"History of English Humour, Vol. 1 (of 2)" by Alfred Guy Kingan L'Estrange
If he was at all sycophantic, it was his will rather than his nature to be so.
"The Rise of Canada, from Barbarism to Wealth and Civilisation" by Charles Roger
He beckoned and he had a thousand sycophantic suppliants.
"The Book of All-Power" by Edgar Wallace
Not only are we no less sycophantic than the people of monarchial countries; we are more so.
"The Shadow On The Dial, and Other Essays" by Ambrose Bierce
We were back again amid the "old comedy" characters, of whom we always talk with sycophantic admiration.
"Ainslee's, Vol. 15, No. 6, July 1905" by Various
The Manager smiled the sycophantic smile of one who worships Mammon.
"The Tale of Timber Town" by Alfred Grace
Guests, sycophantic people of all sorts were taken to consider it.
"The Passionate Friends" by Herbert George Wells
If there was a drop of sycophantic blood in his veins, he had yet to reveal it.
"Thirty" by Howard Vincent O'Brien
Sycophantic he might have been, but he was neither ungrateful nor vindictive.
"Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th Edition, Volume 3, Slice 6" by Various
Affectation, with his sycophantic wiles, had won the heart of a degenerate generation.
"Vondel's Lucifer" by Joost van den Vondel
The world, with its sycophantic smile, now flatters, where it once frowned.
"The Life and Beauties of Fanny Fern" by Anonymous
Whatever may have been their sentiments before, they were now sycophantic enough.
"Makers and Romance of Alabama History" by B. F. Riley
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In poetry:

No fawning, sycophantic whine,
Marr'd the clear note thy spirit blew,
Thy stirring words, thy gift divine,
Were to thyself and country true.
"Robert Burns" by Thomas Frederick Young
``Unto the phantom Deities of air
They pay lip homage, carven altars raise,
To these bow down with ceremonial prayer,
And sycophantic praise.
"Sacred And Profane Love" by Alfred Austin
He nearly drowned in hermit-seeking seas
Of visitors — those voids he had allowed
To suck his soul — damned sycophantic fleas!
Wrenching himself from the besieging crowd,
He gripped with clammy hands and bulbous knees
"The Stylite" by Rainer Maria Rilke

In news:

The Fleet Street gossip column is a hideous invention, at once bullying and, sycophantic.
Though some of her recent newspaper work has tended toward the sycophantic , the sentimental and the loopy, I expected a lot from this book.
In my previous column I conservatively circumscribed about the nature and extent of Obamaholism and Bush Derangement Syndrome that has led many liberal sycophantic sufferers to splash about like Cleopatra, the Queen of Denial.
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