lack·​ey | \ˈla-kē \
plural lackeys

Definition of lackey 

(Entry 1 of 2)

1a : footman sense 2, servant

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

And Melissa McCarthy did such a good job as Sean Spicer that people were ready to instantly forgive him for aggressively lying to the public during his time as a Trump lackey. Luke Darby, GQ, "Alec Baldwin Creepily Invites Melania Trump to SNL and Promises Her Redemption," 24 June 2018 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 Fernandez has been labeled as a fake progressive and lobbyist in the pockets of special interests, and Vargas has been attacked as a Trump and party lackey. David Smiley, miamiherald, "Why this cut-throat special election has managed to stay under the radar | Miami Herald," 20 Apr. 2018 Potentially Insane Thing to Keep an Eye On: Alexa Bliss’s lackey, Mickie James, who recently released a single with the Ying Yang Twins (yes, those Ying Yang Twins) and will probably get squashed like a bug by Nia Jax at some point in the match. The Editors Of Gq, GQ, "WrestleMania 34 Is Going to Be a Goddang Blast," 6 Apr. 2018 The portrayals of her as a lackey of big business bugged Breed, who first won a supervisor's seat in 2012. CBS News, "London Breed becomes San Francisco's first African-American woman mayor," 14 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

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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

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

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Comments on lackey

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


to clear from alleged fault or guilt

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