lack·​ey | \ ˈla-kē How to pronounce lackey (audio) \
plural lackeys

Definition of lackey

 (Entry 1 of 2)

b : someone who does menial tasks or runs errands for another
2 : a servile follower : toady


lackeyed; lackeying

Definition of lackey (Entry 2 of 2)

intransitive verb

archaic : to serve as a lackey : toady

transitive verb

: to wait upon or serve obsequiously

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Synonyms & Antonyms for lackey

Synonyms: Noun

daily [British], domestic, flunky (also flunkey), menial, retainer, servant, slavey, steward

Antonyms: Noun

master, mistress

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Examples of lackey in a Sentence


He was nothing but a spineless lackey of the establishment. a celebrity surrounded by his lackeys

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

For months now, Pelosi and co’s attitude was to wait for the Mueller Report, which came and went and was largely defanged by the Trump lackey Attorney General Bill Barr. Michael Arceneaux, Essence, "Opinion: Will Nancy Pelosi Finally Do Something About Donald Trump’s Abuse Of Power?," 25 July 2019 Unfortunately for Peter, Mysterio is actually a former Stark lackey who’s bitter that Tony dismissed his BARF technology, which could create advanced, realistic holograms. Eliana Dockterman, Time, "Breaking Down the Spider-Man: Far From Home Post-Credits Scenes," 2 July 2019 Whoopi Goldberg The star was already a household name before playing Shenzi, Scar’s chief lackey and leader of a hyena pack of three. Diane J. Cho,, "The Original Lion King Cast: Where Are They Now?," 24 June 2019 When Chris finally gets Billy on the phone, after fighting with corporate lackeys determined to keep him from speaking to the chief, the Dorsey stand-in begins to rail against his increasing irrelevance as a figurehead. Aja Romano, Vox, "“Smithereens” takes aim at the tech dystopia we already live in but has nothing new to say.," 5 June 2019 Russians who have fallen out with the Kremlin, and British analysts who take a dim view of Mr. Putin, view him as a Kremlin lackey. Andrew Higgins, New York Times, "U.K. Visa for Roman Abramovich, Russian Billionaire, Is Delayed," 20 May 2018 These men and their lackeys have been the beneficiaries of positive discrimination, to say the least, for centuries. Constance Grady, Vox, "They say a preposition is something you should never end a sentence with. That’s nonsense.," 23 June 2018 The portrayals of her as a lackey of big business bugged Breed, who first won a supervisor's seat in 2012. Janie Har, The Christian Science Monitor, "First African-American woman mayor ready to lead San Francisco," 14 June 2018 Her complexity mirrors that of the old guide Luo, who gradually evolves from mere government lackey into a perceptive observer of the shifting emotions and dynamics within the group. Clarence Tsui, The Hollywood Reporter, "'The Pluto Moment' ('Ming Wang Xing Shi Ke'): Film Review | Cannes 2018," 23 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'lackey.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of lackey


1523, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


1568, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense

History and Etymology for lackey


Middle French laquais

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Statistics for lackey

Last Updated

29 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for lackey

The first known use of lackey was in 1523

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More Definitions for lackey



English Language Learners Definition of lackey

disapproving : a person who is or acts like a weak servant of someone powerful

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More from Merriam-Webster on lackey

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with lackey

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for lackey

Spanish Central: Translation of lackey

Nglish: Translation of lackey for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of lackey for Arabic Speakers

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