noun \ˈsi-kə-fənt also ˈsī- & -ˌfant\

: a person who praises powerful people in order to get their approval

Full Definition of SYCOPHANT

:  a servile self-seeking flatterer
sycophant adjective

Examples of SYCOPHANT

  1. <when her career was riding high, the self-deluded actress often mistook sycophants for true friends>
  2. His press conference on January 11 was all aimed toward a single moment. The President was at his rostrum at the Élysée, with a crowd of courtiers, journalists, and sycophants herded behind a velvet rope. One reporter was allowed across the rope to put the same question, in exactly the same words, as he had put when Chirac had been nearing the end of his first term: Would he perhaps consider standing for a further five years? —Julian Barnes, New York Review, 29 Mar. 2007


Latin sycophanta slanderer, swindler, from Greek sykophantēs slanderer, from sykon fig + phainein to show — more at fancy
First Known Use: 1575


Next Word in the Dictionary: sycophantic
Previous Word in the Dictionary: sycophancy
All Words Near: sycophant

Seen & Heard

What made you want to look up sycophant? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).