or lac·quey

See more synonyms for lackey on
verb (used with object), lack·eyed, lack·ey·ing.
  1. to attend as a lackey does.

Origin of lackey

1520–30; < Middle French laquais, perhaps < Catalan lacayo, alacayo < ?
Related formsun·lack·eyed, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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Contemporary Examples of lackey

Historical Examples of lackey

British Dictionary definitions for lackey


  1. a servile follower; hanger-on
  2. a liveried male servant or valet
  3. a person who is treated like a servant
  1. (when intr, often foll by for) to act as a lackey (to)
Also (rare): lacquey

Word Origin for lackey

C16: via French laquais, from Old French, perhaps from Catalan lacayo, alacayo; perhaps related to alcalde
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 lackey

1520s, "footman, running footman, valet," from Middle French laquais "foot soldier, footman, servant" (15c.), of unknown origin; perhaps from Old Provençal lacai, from lecai "glutton, covetous," from lecar "to lick." Alternative etymology is via French from Catalan alacay, from Arabic al-qadi "the judge." Yet another guess traces it through Spanish lacayo, from Italian lacchè, from Modern Greek oulakes, from Turkish ulak "runner, courier." This suits the original sense better, but OED says Italian lacchè is from French. Sense of "servile follower" appeared 1580s. As a political term of abuse it dates from 1939 in communist jargon.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper