[ sik-uh-fuhnt, -fant, sahy-kuh- ]
/ ˈsɪk ə fənt, -ˌfænt, ˈsaɪ kə- /


a self-seeking, servile flatterer; fawning parasite.

Origin of sycophant

1530–40; < Latin sȳcophanta < Greek sȳkophántēs informer, equivalent to sŷko(n) fig + phan- (stem of phaínein to show) + -tēs agentive suffix


syc·o·phan·tic, syc·o·phan·ti·cal, syc·o·phant·ish, adjectivesyc·o·phan·ti·cal·ly, syc·o·phant·ish·ly, adverbsyc·o·phant·ism, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

Examples from the Web for sycophantically

  • “Forty,” said Puffin sycophantically, as he thought over what he would say about himself when the old man had finished.

    Miss Mapp|Edward Frederic Benson

British Dictionary definitions for sycophantically

/ (ˈsɪkəfənt) /


a person who uses flattery to win favour from individuals wielding influence; toady

Derived forms of sycophant

sycophancy, noun

Word Origin for sycophant

C16: from Latin sӯcophanta, from Greek sukophantēs, literally: the person showing a fig, apparently referring to the fig sign used in making an accusation, from sukon fig + phainein to show; sense probably developed from ``accuser'' to ``informer, flatterer''
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