sy·​co·​phan·​tic ˌsi-kə-ˈfan-tik How to pronounce sycophantic (audio)
 also  ˌsī-
: of, relating to, or characteristic of a sycophant : fawning, obsequious
sycophantic compliments
sycophantically adverb

Examples of sycophantic in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web But, being your boss’s sycophantic sidekick is arguably more questionable, if not pathetic (especially in the eyes of others). Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic, Forbes, 28 Feb. 2024 Agnes is a contrast to Elena’s sycophantic Greek chorus of cheery and bewildered advisors who barely have names and definitely don’t have individual personalities other than that they’re played by pedigreed British thespians (David Bamber, Danny Web and Henry Goodman, among others). Daniel Fienberg, The Hollywood Reporter, 27 Feb. 2024 With her sycophantic minions, Gretchen (Bebe Wood) and Karen (Avantika), Regina begins to teach Cady the ways of the Plastics. Bill Goodykoontz, The Arizona Republic, 10 Jan. 2024 There was even an entire episode that focused on his charity, The Prince’s Trust, which felt borderline sycophantic. Louis Staples, Rolling Stone, 18 Nov. 2023 Still, some Chinese elites have noted the degree to which Western intelligence agencies have managed to penetrate Putin’s regime, the ease with which Russia was severed from the global financial system, and the ways that a despot in a sycophantic echo chamber can miscalculate in shattering fashion. Stephen Kotkin, Foreign Affairs, 6 Apr. 2022 Media coverage oscillated wildly between sycophantic applause and puritanical scrutiny - celebrities made to traipse an ephemeral, razor thin line between public adoration and detestation. Colin Scanlon, Redbook, 4 Aug. 2023 Despite the hollow flattery heaped upon him by a sycophantic French producer (Mathieu Amalric), Giovanni is struggling to pull off his latest project, a limited-interest drama about the complicity of Italy’s Communist Party in the Hungarian Revolution of 1956. Peter Debruge, Variety, 24 May 2023 Vucic’s governing style was becoming more openly authoritarian, with sycophantic public displays of loyalty by his allies. Robert F. Worth, New York Times, 3 May 2023

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'sycophantic.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1676, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of sycophantic was in 1676

Dictionary Entries Near sycophantic

Cite this Entry

“Sycophantic.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 12 Apr. 2024.

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