sycophancy

noun
sy·​co·​phan·​cy | \ˈsi-kə-fən(t)-sē also ˈsī- & -ˌfan(t)- \

Definition of sycophancy 

: obsequious flattery also : the character or behavior of a sycophant

Examples of sycophancy in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Worse, the president’s need for flattery and his base’s intense defensiveness combine to make public sycophancy the only reliable proof of loyalty. Jonah Goldberg, National Review, "Revelations in Michael Wolff’s Fire and Fury Aren’t News inside the Beltway," 10 Jan. 2018 His characterization has been filtered though Mike Leigh rigor rather than Masterpiece Theatre sycophancy. Armond White, National Review, "The Greatest Showman," 19 Jan. 2018 Ready Player One takes this geek sycophancy to an entirely new level. Ryan Smith, Chicago Reader, "Arts / Small Screen / The Internet By villainizing nerdy fanboys, Black Mirror's Star Trek parody goes where no show has gone before," 8 Jan. 2018 Yet the past week has seen an explosion of sycophancy toward China’s leader, after his mammoth three-and-a-half-hour speech kicked off proceedings last Wednesday. Simon Denyer, Washington Post, "China’s leader elevated to the level of Mao in Communist pantheon," 24 Oct. 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'sycophancy.' 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 sycophancy

1637, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for sycophancy

sycophan(t) + -cy, after Latin sȳcophantia, borrowed from Greek sȳkophantía, from sȳkophántēs + -ia -ia entry 1

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The first known use of sycophancy was in 1637

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