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Synonym Chooser

How does the noun toady differ from other similar words?

Some common synonyms of toady are leech, parasite, sponge, and sycophant. While all these words mean "a usually obsequious flatterer or self-seeker," toady emphasizes the servility and snobbery of the self-seeker.

cultivated leaders of society and became their toady

Where would leech be a reasonable alternative to toady?

The meanings of leech and toady largely overlap; however, leech stresses persistence in clinging to or bleeding another for one's own advantage.

a leech living off his family and friends

When could parasite be used to replace toady?

The synonyms parasite and toady are sometimes interchangeable, but 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

In what contexts can sponge take the place of toady?

While the synonyms sponge and toady are close in meaning, sponge stresses the parasitic laziness, dependence, and opportunism of the cadger.

a shiftless sponge, always looking for a handout

When is sycophant a more appropriate choice than toady?

The words sycophant and toady are synonyms, but do differ in nuance. Specifically, sycophant adds to this a strong suggestion of fawning, flattery, or adulation.

a powerful prince surrounded by sycophants


Thesaurus Entries Near toady

Cite this Entry

“Toady.” Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 Feb. 2024.

More from Merriam-Webster on toady

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