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sycophant

A sycophant is a person who tries to win favor from wealthy or influential people by flattering them. Also known as brown-nosers, teacher's pets or suck-ups.

Sycophant is from Latin sycophanta, from Greek sykophantēs, from sykon "fig" and phainein "to show, make known." The original sense was that of an informer, a person who gives information about criminal activities. "Showing the fig" was a vulgar gesture made by sticking the thumb between two fingers. The gesture was used to taunt an opponent or to make an accusation against someone.

Definitions of sycophant
  1. noun
    a person who tries to please someone in order to gain a personal advantage
    synonyms: crawler, lackey, toady
    see moresee less
    types:
    apple polisher, bootlicker, fawner, groveler, groveller, truckler
    someone who humbles himself as a sign of respect; who behaves as if he had no self-respect
    goody-goody
    a person who behaves extremely well in order to please a superior
    type of:
    adulator, flatterer
    a person who uses flattery
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