Sycophant


Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Wikipedia.
Related to Sycophant: obsequiously
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Sycophant

 

in the apparent original usage of the word in ancient Greece, a person who informed on the illegal export of figs from Attica. As early as the second half of the fifth century B.C. the word “sycophant” had entered everyday speech and acquired a broader meaning. In Athens and other Greek poleis it was applied to professional informers, slanderers, and blackmailers who gathered compromising information on influential citizens in order to bring them to court and thus settle political scores or receive a bribe or part of the property confiscated from the convicted person.

REFERENCCE

Lofberg.J.O. Sycophancy in Athens. Chicago, 1917.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
Lambasting Chacko for his recent comments that "Prime Minister Modi has a negative opinion for the 'first family' of India," he said: "Chacko is a perfect example of a sycophant at its worst.
So are those leaders who go around selling 2022 elections - when we still have at least 54 months before the next election - and when we are on this side of delivering the 'Big Four' agenda that Uhuru wants to secure his legacy around, sycophants? I do not know.
McMaster paints a devastating portrait of Robert McNamara as a sycophant resolved to give only the advice he knew LBJ wanted to hear, even though he was aware the strategy would ultimately fail.
He dismissed Ed Llewellyn, the Prime Minister's chief of staff, as a "classic third-rate suck-up-kickdown sycophant presiding over a shambolic court".
IN an effort to get even further up his backside, the sycophant executives at Gillette have given David Beckham a diamond-encrusted razor worth pounds 25,000.
This is the man who had the loathsome Lawrence Llewellyn Bowen as his star guest last week and who these days appears to be a celebrity sycophant rather than the hard-hitting interviewer he once was.
Still, at least we can finally work out who's who in Tory Sycophant and Dec.
Where was he, his fellow cronies and sycophant ``Welsh'' people when successive Tory Welsh Secretaries returned millions uponmillions of pounds to London?
"He quotes me as saying I had nothing better to do than taking drugs and being a sycophant," she said.
The age-old practice of some highly- paid obsequious sycophant, with one eye on the honours list, naming it after a dysfunctional royal, is now out- dated.
The last thing on his mind is the appalling state that this country is in due to him and his sycophant cabinet who are all feathering their nests as quickly as they can to ensure they retire with large pensions.