toady

noun
\ ˈtō-dē How to pronounce toady (audio) \
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 How to pronounce toady (audio) \ 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 Nowadays Wolf’s posts generate pages of comments denouncing him as a fascist and the toady of an authoritarian president-- or praising him as a loyal Trump soldier. Nick Miroff And Josh Dawsey, Washington Post, "How Chad Wolf became Trump’s favorite DHS chief," 3 Aug. 2020 Farrow’s walking ego Gaston bursts into the theater from the lobby, trailed as ever by his pal — some would say toady — Lefou (Michael Parisi). Deborah Martin, ExpressNews.com, "Villains are scene stealers in ‘Matilda,’ ‘Beauty and the Beast’," 18 July 2019 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 Set in 1887, the movie finds Dench's Queen Victoria bent and wizened, an octogenarian who has outlived most of her contemporaries and has little use for the toadies around her. Brian Lowry, CNN, "'Victoria & Abdul' goes skin-deep on great story," 22 Sep. 2017 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

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

Time Traveler

The first known use of toady was in 1826

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Statistics for toady

Cite this Entry

“Toady.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/toady. Accessed 17 Jan. 2021.

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More Definitions for toady

toady

noun
How to pronounce toady (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of toady

 (Entry 1 of 2)

informal + disapproving : 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)

informal + disapproving : 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

More from Merriam-Webster on toady

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for toady

Nglish: Translation of toady for Spanish Speakers

Comments on toady

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