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[suhp-lee-uh nt] /ˈsʌp li ənt/
a person who supplicates; petitioner.
expressive of supplication, as words, actions, etc.
Origin of suppliant
late Middle English
1400-50; late Middle English < Middle French, present participle of supplier < Latin supplicāre to beseech, supplicate. See -ant
Related forms
suppliantly, adverb
suppliantness, noun
unsuppliant, adjective
Can be confused
supplant, supplicant, suppliant. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for suppliant
Historical Examples
  • Here was the man whom she hated, suppliant before her to know the truth.

    Within the Law Marvin Dana
  • She not only assumed the attitude, but felt the spirit of a suppliant.

  • The waxen image is at its feet, as a suppliant, and awaiting only death.

    The Phantom World Augustin Calmet
  • To go a suppliant to that pious icicle my mother were worse than useless.

    The Strolling Saint Raphael Sabatini
  • The suppliant raised his head, and his fingers relaxed their hold.

    Audrey Craven May Sinclair
  • It is a sorry part, that of suppliant, but so long as it is for another it is endurable.

    Sir Brook Fossbrooke, Volume I. Charles James Lever
  • There was nothing humble in her demeanour, nothing which seemed to tell of a suppliant.

    Kept in the Dark

    Anthony Trollope
  • I waited not for the usual question to a suppliant, 'What do you want?'

  • I am to thee in place of a suppliant, to be revered, O Jove-nurtured one!

  • Later, she could approach death with suppliant hands, but now she must be ready.

    The Lion's Brood

    Duffield Osborne
British Dictionary definitions for suppliant


expressing entreaty or supplication
noun, adjective
another word for supplicant
Derived Forms
suppliantly, adverb
suppliance, noun
Word Origin
C15: from French supplier to beseech, from Latin supplicāre to kneel in entreaty; see supple
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for suppliant

early 15c., "humble petitioner," from Middle French suppliant, originally present participle of supplier "to plead humbly, entreat, beg, pray," from Latin supplicare "beg, beseech" (see supplication).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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