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 Trump, accused by his critics of being a lackey for Putin, to make excuses for the regime in Moscow in the presence of that country’s ruler was an astonishing lapse. Chris Stirewalt, Fox News, "Trump scores on his own goal," 16 July 2018 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 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 Humphrey was seen as a Johnson lackey who would continue the war. Patrick J. Buchanan, WSJ, "With Nixon in ’68: The Year America Came Apart," 5 Apr. 2018 Every lackey quails, expecting to be whipped, or worse. Jane Mayer, The New Yorker, "“The Death of Stalin” Dares to Make Evil Funny," 6 Mar. 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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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

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).


not to be persuaded, moved, or stopped

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