What does Sycophant mean?

Definitions for Sycophantˈsɪk ə fənt, -ˌfænt, ˈsaɪ kə-

Here are all the possible meanings and translations of the word Sycophant.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. sycophant, toady, crawler, lackey, ass-kisser(noun)

    a person who tries to please someone in order to gain a personal advantage


  1. sycophant(Noun)

    One who uses compliments to gain self-serving favor or advantage from another.

  2. sycophant(Noun)

    One who seeks to gain through the powerful and influential.

  3. Origin: First attested in 1537. From sycophanta, from συκοφάντης, itself from σῦκον + φαίνω. The gesture of "showing the fig" was a vulgar one, which was made by sticking the thumb between two fingers, a display which vaguely resembles a fig, which is itself symbolic of a (sykon 'vagina' also meant vulva). The story behind this etymology is that politicians in ancient Greece steered clear of displaying that vulgar gesture, but urged their followers sub rosa to taunt their opponents by using it.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Sycophant(noun)

    an informer; a talebearer

  2. Sycophant(noun)

    a base parasite; a mean or servile flatterer; especially, a flatterer of princes and great men

  3. Sycophant(verb)

    to inform against; hence, to calumniate

  4. Sycophant(verb)

    to play the sycophant toward; to flatter obsequiously

  5. Sycophant(verb)

    to play the sycophant

  6. Origin: [L. sycophanta a slanderer, deceiver, parasite, Gr. a false accuser, false adviser, literally, a fig shower; a fig + to show: cf. F. sycophante. The reason for the name is not certainly known. See Phenomenon.]

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Sycophant

    sik′ō-fant, n. a common informer: a servile flatterer.—n. Syc′ophancy, the behaviour of a sycophant: mean tale-bearing: obsequious flattery: servility—also Sycophant′ism.—adjs. Sycophant′ic, -al, Sycophant′ish, like a sycophant: obsequiously flattering: parasitic.—v.i. Syc′ophantise.—adv. Syc′ophantishly.—n. Syc′ophantry, the arts of the sycophant. [Gr. sykophantēs, usually said to mean one who informed against persons exporting figs from Attica or plundering the sacred fig-trees; but more prob. one who brings figs to light by shaking the tree, hence one who makes rich men yield up their fruit by informations and other vile arts—sykon, a fig, phainein, to show.]


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of Sycophant in Chaldean Numerology is: 1

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of Sycophant in Pythagorean Numerology is: 4

Images & Illustrations of Sycophant

  1. SycophantSycophantSycophant

Translations for Sycophant

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

Get even more translations for Sycophant »


Find a translation for the Sycophant definition in other languages:

Select another language:

Discuss these Sycophant definitions with the community:

Word of the Day

Would you like us to send you a FREE new word definition delivered to your inbox daily?

Please enter your email address:     


Use the citation below to add this definition to your bibliography:


"Sycophant." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2017. Web. 13 Dec. 2017. <http://www.definitions.net/definition/Sycophant>.

Are we missing a good definition for Sycophant? Don't keep it to yourself...

Nearby & related entries:

Alternative searches for Sycophant:

Thanks for your vote! We truly appreciate your support.