sy·​co·​phan·​tic | \ ˌsi-kə-ˈfan-tik also ˌsī- How to pronounce sycophantic (audio) \

Definition of sycophantic

: of, relating to, or characteristic of a sycophant : fawning, obsequious sycophantic compliments

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Other Words from sycophantic

sycophantically \ ˌsi-​kə-​ˈfan-​ti-​k(ə-​)lē also  ˌsī-​ How to pronounce sycophantically (audio) \ adverb

Examples of sycophantic in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Then comes the isolation of the dictator within his palace—friendless and paranoid—and the pruning of his circle to an ever more sycophantic few. Adam Gopnik, The New Yorker, "The Field Guide to Tyranny," 16 Dec. 2019 Alas, most of us don’t get a sycophantic string section. Chris Jones,, "Now in Chicago, ’The Band’s Visit’ dares to tell a story of lonely hearts too old for love," 5 Sep. 2019 Of all the people Trump consults, Hannity is one of the least sycophantic. Jonathan Chait, Daily Intelligencer, "Report: Hannity Is One of Trump’s Least Sycophantic Advisers," 17 Apr. 2018 Just imagine Churchill allowing this humiliating, servile, sycophantic indulgence of the American president’s ego to go unchallenged. David E. Sanger, New York Times, "‘It Could Have Been Any of Us’: Disdain for Trump Runs Among Ambassadors," 10 July 2019 Yes, Morrison is a towering figure in literature, but some of the praise at times spills over into the sycophantic. Bill Goodykoontz, azcentral, "Review: In 'Toni Morrison: The Pieces I Am,' magic happens when the stories start," 9 July 2019 Snobs are accused of being sycophantic to famous people. P.j. O'rourke, Town & Country, "P.J. O'Rourke on Why Snobbery Is a Good Thing," 15 Sep. 2016 Musk then cued up Galileo Russell, a Tesla fanboy who issues his sycophantic opinions on Tesla via a YouTube channel. Michael Hiltzik,, "Elon Musk's performance on Tesla's earnings call could make people afraid to buy his stock — or his cars," 3 May 2018 The movie opens in 2001, in the northern village of Datong, where Guo Bin (Liao Fan), a member of the jianghu underworld, runs a mah-jongg parlor and enjoys the sycophantic attention of his comrades and underlings. Justin Chang,, "Justin Chang's Cannes diary 2018: Passion and politics collide in 'Ash Is Purest White,' 'Cold War'," 13 May 2018

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

1676, in the meaning defined above

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The first known use of sycophantic was in 1676

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Last Updated

24 Dec 2019

Cite this Entry

“Sycophantic.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 18 Feb. 2020.

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