noun, plural flun·keys.

Related formsflun·key·ism, noun


or flun·key


noun, plural flun·kies.

a male servant in livery.
an assistant who does menial work.
a toady; yes-man.

Origin of flunky

First recorded in 1775–85; perhaps alteration of flanker
Related formsflun·ky·ism, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for flunkey

Historical Examples of flunkey

  • Shakespeare was a sycophant, a flunkey if you will, but nothing worse.

  • At the same moment a flunkey in chocolate and cream approached him.

    A Great Man

    Arnold Bennett

  • I was just entering Rasputin's room at the palace when a flunkey told me the news.

    The Minister of Evil

    William Le Queux

  • Your dream and rest is over; for are you not the general's flunkey?

    On the Heels of De Wet

    The Intelligence Officer

  • The ancient wig of the judge is often indistinguishable from the old wig of the flunkey.

    A Miscellany of Men

    G. K. Chesterton

British Dictionary definitions for flunkey



noun plural flunkies or flunkeys

a servile or fawning person
a person who performs menial tasks
usually derogatory a manservant in livery

Word Origin for flunky

C18: of unknown origin
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

Word Origin and History for flunkey



also flunkey, 1782, Scottish dialect, "footman, liveried servant," of uncertain origin, perhaps a diminutive variant of flanker. Sense of "flatterer, toady" first recorded 1855.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper