• synonyms


noun, plural lac·queys, verb (used with object), lac·queyed, lac·quey·ing.
  1. lackey.
Show More


or lac·quey

noun, plural lack·eys.
  1. a servile follower; toady.
  2. a footman or liveried manservant.
Show More
verb (used with object), lack·eyed, lack·ey·ing.
  1. to attend as a lackey does.
Show More

Origin of lackey

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

Examples from the Web for lacquey

Historical Examples

  • "Animal," was the retort—for true courtesy commend me to a lacquey!

    The Shame of Motley

    Raphael Sabatini

  • A lacquey in livery approached, leading a fine English horse.

  • Robeccal had said a few words to her before he went away with the lacquey.

  • It was his lacquey, or his father's, who denounced us to-night!

  • Carmen followed the lacquey with rather too slow a step for the occasion.

British Dictionary definitions for lacquey


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

Word Origin

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 lacquey



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.

Show More
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper