Definitions for Sycophantˈsɪk ə fənt, -ˌfænt, ˈsaɪ kə-
Random House Webster's College Dictionary
syc•o•phantˈsɪk ə fənt, -ˌfænt, ˈsaɪ kə-(n.)
a self-seeking, servile flatterer; fawning parasite.
Origin of sycophant:
1530–40; < L sȳcophanta < Gk sȳkophántēs informer =sŷko(n) fig +phan- (s. of phaínein to show) +-tēs agent suffix
sycophant, toady, crawler, lackey, ass-kisser(noun)
a person who tries to please someone in order to gain a personal advantage
One who uses compliments to gain self-serving favor or advantage from another.
One who seeks to gain through the powerful and influential.
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.
an informer; a talebearer
a base parasite; a mean or servile flatterer; especially, a flatterer of princes and great men
to inform against; hence, to calumniate
to play the sycophant toward; to flatter obsequiously
to play the sycophant