Origin of sycophant
Examples from the Web for sycophant
However reactionary a sycophant to rich people and slasher of programs for others he might be, he is the governor.
How can he be honoured when he is a sycophant ducking to the giddy opinion of a reckless public?
And I would rather a thousand times be a free soul in jail than a sycophant or coward on the streets.The Debs Decision|Scott Nearing
The sycophant and the self-seeker bow before quite other idols than of old.Historical and Political Essays|William Edward Hartpole Lecky
British Dictionary definitions for sycophant
Word Origin for sycophant
Word Origin and History for sycophant
1530s (in Latin form sycophanta), "informer, talebearer, slanderer," from Latin sycophanta, from Greek sykophantes, originally "one who shows the fig," from sykon "fig" + phanein "to show." "Showing the fig" was a vulgar gesture made by sticking the thumb between two fingers, a display which vaguely resembles a fig, itself symbolic of a vagina (sykon also meant "vulva"). The story goes that prominent politicians in ancient Greece held aloof from such inflammatory gestures, but privately urged their followers to taunt their opponents. The sense of "mean, servile flatterer" is first recorded in English 1570s.