toady

noun
\ˈtō-dē \
plural toadies

Definition of toady 

(Entry 1 of 2)

: one who flatters in the hope of gaining favors : sycophant

toady

verb
toadied; toadying

Definition of toady (Entry 2 of 2)

intransitive verb

: to behave as a toady : engage in sycophancy

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Other Words from toady

Verb

toadyism \ˈtō-​dē-​ˌi-​zəm \ noun

Choose the Right Synonym for toady

Noun

parasite, sycophant, toady, leech, sponge mean a usually obsequious flatterer or self-seeker. parasite applies to one who clings to a person of wealth, power, or influence or is useless to society. a jet-setter with an entourage of parasites sycophant adds to this a strong suggestion of fawning, flattery, or adulation. a powerful prince surrounded by sycophants toady emphasizes the servility and snobbery of the self-seeker. cultivated leaders of society and became their toady leech stresses persistence in clinging to or bleeding another for one's own advantage. a leech living off his family and friends sponge stresses the parasitic laziness, dependence, and opportunism of the cadger. a shiftless sponge, always looking for a handout

Verb

fawn, toady, truckle, cringe, cower mean to behave abjectly before a superior. fawn implies seeking favor by servile flattery or exaggerated attention. waiters fawning over a celebrity toady suggests the attempt to ingratiate oneself by an abjectly menial or subservient attitude. toadying to his boss truckle implies the subordination of oneself and one's desires or judgment to those of a superior. truckling to a powerful lobbyist cringe suggests a bowing or shrinking in fear or servility. a cringing sycophant cower suggests a display of abject fear in the company of threatening or domineering people. cowering before a bully

Did You Know?

Noun

In 17th-century Europe, a toadeater was a showman's assistant whose job was to make the boss look good. The toadeater would eat (or pretend to eat) what were supposed to be poisonous toads. His or her charlatan master would then "save" the toad-afflicted assistant by expelling the poison. It's little wonder that such assistants became symbolic of extreme subservience, and that toadeater became a word for any obsequious underling. By the early 1800s, it had been shortened and altered to toady, our current term for a servile self-seeker.

Examples of toady in a Sentence

Noun

She's a real toady to the boss. no one liked the office toady, who spent most of her time complimenting the boss on what a great job he was doing

Verb

He's always toadying to the boss. a satirical novel about an amoral go-getter who toadies his way to the top of the corporate ladder
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Scott also has a television ad depicting Nelson as a toady of party bosses for his history of voting for all Democratic presidents’ judicial candidates. Anthony Man, Sun-Sentinel.com, "Republicans try to make Supreme Court fight unpleasant for Bill Nelson," 11 July 2018 Trump’s main barrier to replacing Sessions is the difficulty of winning Senate confirmation for the kind of toady Trump craves. Jonathan Chait, Daily Intelligencer, "How Trump Could Get Scott Pruitt to Fire Robert Mueller," 11 June 2018 To liken patients to cowering toadies is to patronize them. Kevin Canfield, San Francisco Chronicle, "‘Natural Causes,’ by Barbara Ehrenreich," 3 May 2018 Much of the comedy comes from watching Stalin’s toadies jockey for power in his absence, but the film really connects as a strange — and yet somehow amusing — glimpse of how fear penetrates a totalitarian society down to the bone. Sean Illing, Vox, "Veep creator Armando Iannucci on Trump, democracy, and his new dark comedy about Stalin," 27 Mar. 2018 In a style familiar to those who remember the Cold War, Russian toadies blame everyone but themselves — the UK, the U.S. and other foreigners. Cal Thomas , Anchorage Daily News, "The Russian (S)election," 22 Mar. 2018 But if Rosenstein doesn’t give in to political pressure, there’s always the possibility of simply replacing him with a Trump toady who would gladly dispatch the special counsel — a path the president has already considered. Benjamin Hart, Daily Intelligencer, "Trump Lawyer: Mueller Should Be Fired," 17 Mar. 2018 But Stormy Daniels won’t allow herself to be turned into a secret, an object, a lying toady, or a golf joke. Rhonda Garelick, The Cut, "Stormy Daniels Is the Anti-Trump," 14 Mar. 2018 Ives, the conservative Republican from Wheaton who is challenging Rauner in the Republican primary for governor, is no Madigan toady. John Kass, chicagotribune.com, "Election-year politics getting in your hair? Some answers to straighten things out," 2 Mar. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

And snobs are accused of toadying to aristocratic types. P.j. O'rourke, Town & Country, "P.J. O'Rourke on Why Snobbery Is a Good Thing," 15 Sep. 2016 Instead, most of the film’s first half is devoted to the father’s toadying to his armed superiors while always trying to find a little stray stash for himself. Todd Mccarthy, The Hollywood Reporter, "'Buy Me a Gun': Film Review | Cannes 2018," 14 May 2018 For most of the action, the title character is in a coma and we are tossed into the frenzies of the toadying Soviet officials hoping to succeed him. Frank Rich, Daily Intelligencer, "There’s a Hopeful New Path for Gun Politics in America," 1 Mar. 2018 Meanwhile, Trump has launched a war on the American media and toadied up to strongmen from Russia’s Vladimir Putin to Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte and, of course, Xi himself. Charlie Campbell / Beijing, Time, "China’s Lurch Toward One-Man Rule Under Xi Jinping Should Worry Us All," 26 Feb. 2018 But their work is drowned out by the screeching chorus of Trump toadies that dominates Fox's evening and morning schedule. chicagotribune.com, "Fox News has completed its transformation into Trump TV," 8 Aug. 2017

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

Noun

1826, in the meaning defined above

Verb

circa 1859, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for toady

Noun

by shortening & alteration from toadeater

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Time Traveler for toady

The first known use of toady was in 1826

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More Definitions for toady

toady

noun

English Language Learners Definition of toady

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a person who praises and helps powerful people in order to get their approval

toady

verb

English Language Learners Definition of toady (Entry 2 of 2)

: to try to get the approval of someone powerful by saying and doing helpful and friendly things that are not sincere : to be a toady

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More from Merriam-Webster on toady

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with toady

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for toady

Spanish Central: Translation of toady

Nglish: Translation of toady for Spanish Speakers

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