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sycophant


He was a sycophant to Stalin.
  a person who tries to flatter or please someone in authority in order to gain personal advantage
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sycophants sycophantic sycophant sycophancy
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Samples:
  • He was a sycophant to Stalin.
  • When complimenting a trait in someone, share at least one concrete example so they know it is not the empty flattery of a sycophant.
  • Do you wish me to call you master, too, like your sycophantic guard?
    Stephenie Meyer  --  Breaking Dawn
  • [talking to Aphrodite] "Unless we want to be your"—I glanced up at Damien and smiled—"your sycophants, you make us feel like we don’t belong—like we’re nothing."
    P.C. Cast & Kristin Cast  --  Marked

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  • CHAPTER 9: Tom Practices Sycophancy.
    Mark Twain  --  Pudd’nhead Wilson
  • If the very warm reception of me in Cuba is portrayed as because I’m thought to be a sycophantic ally of Cuba, then the Cuban doctors’ concern for the poor of Haiti would be lost.
    Tracy Kidder  --  Mountains Beyond Mountains
  • Malfoy laughed loudly and sycophantically.
    J.K. Rowling  --  Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
  • Crabbe and Goyle guffawed sycophantically, but Malfoy had to stop there, because Hagrid emerged from the back of his cabin balancing a teetering tower of crates, each containing a very large Blast-Ended Skrewt.
    J.K. Rowling  --  Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
  • "That sounds good, sir," said Ernie sycophantically, rubbing his hands together.
    J.K. Rowling  --  Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
  • Sycophantic ….
    Christina Baker Kline  --  Orphan Train

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  • A constant stream of diners comes to their table to shake Werner’s and Frederick’s hands and ask Frederick’s mother in low sycophantic voices about her husband’s latest advancement.
    Anthony Doerr  --  All the Light We Cannot See
  • Skimberry aroused suspicion in many quarters because of his sycophantic allegiance to Ezra Bennington.
    Pat Conroy  --  The Water is Wide
  • It would demean the Professor needlessly, would place too much emphasis on the sycophancy he had occasionally displayed in the face of manifestations of German might and potency, to portray him as buffoonishly servile in Duffield’s presence; he possesses, after all, his own illustrious repute as a scholar and an expert in his field.
    William Styron  --  Sophie’s Choice
  • But the questions were anything but sycophantic.
    Stieg Larsson  --  The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
  • The thing is to have sycophants.
    F. Scott Fitzgerald  --  Tender is the Night
  • Ahab did not like Micaiah, because he never prophesied good concerning him, but evil; probably he liked the sycophant son of Chenaannah better; yet might Ahab have escaped a bloody death, had he but stopped his ears to flattery, and opened them to faithful counsel.
    Charlotte Bronte  --  Jane Eyre
  • 4d. in the pound, sandwichman, distributor of throwaways, nocturnal vagrant, insinuating sycophant, maimed sailor, blind stripling, superannuated bailiffs man, marfeast, lickplate, spoilsport, pickthank, eccentric public laughingstock seated on bench of public park under discarded perforated umbrella.
    James Joyce  --  Ulysses
  • Was it her fault if she did not possess those sycophantic arts which her hypocritical nephew, Pitt Crawley, practised?
    William Makepeace Thackeray  --  Vanity Fair
  • With other black boys the strife was not so fiercely sunny: their youth shrunk into tasteless sycophancy, or into silent hatred of the pale world about them and mocking distrust of everything white; or wasted itself in a bitter cry, Why did God make me an outcast and a stranger in mine own house?
    W. E. B. Du Bois  --  The Souls of Black Folk
  • Cringing and cowardly to the core by nature, Arthur Gride humbled himself in the dust before Ralph Nickleby, and, even when they had not this stake in common, would have licked his shoes and crawled upon the ground before him rather than venture to return him word for word, or retort upon him in any other spirit than one of the most slavish and abject sycophancy.
    Charles Dickens  --  Nicholas Nickleby
  • Indeed, as at first, his manner remained seeking and not a little sycophantic at times.
    Theodore Dreiser  --  An American Tragedy
  • Our reading is mendicant and sycophantic.
    Ralph Waldo Emerson  --  Selected Essays
  • It would have been impossible for the sycophants of Louis XIV to flatter more dexterously.
    Alexis de Toqueville  --  Democracy In America, Volume 1
  • He set up a government within the government-by moving the decimal points in appropriations and salaries, sending his speechless enemies to tiny towns in Calabria, and rewarding sycophants with sinecures.
    Mark Helprin  --  A Soldier of the Great War
  • I leave to others the sublime delights of riding in the storm, better pleased with sound sleep and a warm berth below, with the society of neighbors, friends and fellow laborers of the earth, than of spies and sycophants.
    David McCullough  --  John Adams
  • But if you have, and still can shake hands with the murderers, then are you unworthy of the name of husband, father, friend, or lover, and whatever may be your rank or title in life, you have the heart of a coward, and the spirit of a sycophant.
    Thomas Paine  --  Common Sense
  • They are constantly bombarded by the wiles of parasites and sycophants, by the snares of the ambitious, the avaricious, the desperate, by the artifices of men who have more confidence than they deserve, and of those who seek to possess rather than to deserve it.
    Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, & John Jay  --  The Federalist Papers — Modern English Edition 2
  • They know from experience that they sometimes err; and the wonder is that they so seldom err as they do, beset, as they continually are, by the wiles of parasites and sycophants, by the snares of the ambitious, the avaricious, the desperate, by the artifices of men who possess their confidence more than they deserve it, and of those who seek to possess rather than to deserve it.
    Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, & John Jay  --  The Federalist Papers
  • Someone in the crowd around the lifts called sycophantically, "Morning, Yaxley!"
    J.K. Rowling  --  Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
  • Sycophancy was easy once you got the hang of it.
    Stephen King  --  Misery
  • Sycophantic laugh.
    Alfred Bester  --  The Demolished Man
  • But the sweetness of mercy brew’d bitter destruction, and the frighten’d monarchs come back, Each comes in state with his train, hangman, priest, tax-gatherer, Soldier, lawyer, lord, jailer, and sycophant.
    Walt Whitman  --  Leaves of Grass
  • And her stuck-up flock of sycophants.
    P.C. Cast & Kristin Cast  --  Marked
  • In his letter his sycophantic inclinations bubbled to the surface a couple of times, as did his complete ignorance about the island.
    Pat Conroy  --  The Water is Wide
  • "Yeah," said Ron sycophantically, "that makes sense."
    J.K. Rowling  --  Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
  • The little kitchen-maid on her promotion was standing at her mistress’s side, quite delighted during the operation, and wagging her head up and down and crying, "Lor, Mum, ’tis bittiful"—just like a genteel sycophant in a real drawing-room.
    William Makepeace Thackeray  --  Vanity Fair
  • Anyone who is not a German wants the Germans dead, even the most sycophantic of them.
    Anthony Doerr  --  All the Light We Cannot See
  • Once upon a time fairly recently, in fact—Molly would’ve gagged over these words, both because they’re blatantly sycophantic and cringingly sentimental.
    Christina Baker Kline  --  Orphan Train
  • Yet, even in the face of that, having one type of interest and even sycophantic pride in his presence here.
    Theodore Dreiser  --  An American Tragedy
  • They know from experience that they sometimes err; and the wonder is that they so seldom err as they do, beset, as they continually are, by the wiles of parasites and sycophants; by the snares of the ambitious, the avaricious, the desperate; by the artifices of men who possess their confidence more than they deserve it, and of those who seek to possess rather than to deserve it.
    Alexis de Toqueville  --  Democracy In America, Volume 1
  • And so his manner was that of the sycophant—although he had a better position and was earning more money than Clyde was at this time, twenty-two dollars a week, "I suppose you’ll be spending a good deal of your time with your relatives and friends here," he volunteered on the occasion of their first walk together, and after he had extracted as much information as Clyde cared to impart, which was almost nothing, while he volunteered a few, most decidedly furbished bits from his own…
    Theodore Dreiser  --  An American Tragedy
  • But in the vulgar sycophant who now paid court to her, Emmy always remembered the coarse tyrant who had made her miserable many a time, to whom she had been forced to put up petitions for time, when the rent was overdue; who cried out at her extravagance if she bought delicacies for her ailing mother or father; who had seen her humble and trampled upon her.
    William Makepeace Thackeray  --  Vanity Fair
  • In rapid translation Sophie told him that the message (characteristically sycophantic) was from a local subcontractor, a supplier of gravel to the German operators of the camp concrete factory, who said that he would be unable to transport the required amount of gravel in the required time, begging the Commandant’s indulgence, due to the extremely soggy condition of the ground around his quarry that had not only caused several cave-ins but also hampered and slowed down the operation of…
    William Styron  --  Sophie’s Choice
  • Sycophant—a servile flatterer," she twanged proudly like she was giving an answer in English class.
    P.C. Cast & Kristin Cast  --  Marked
  • Short, in the meantime having gone to the rear of the store and now returning, with a most engaging and even sycophantic smile on his face, began with: "Saw you last Tuesday evening about nine o’clock going into the Finchleys’ place, didn’t I?
    Theodore Dreiser  --  An American Tragedy
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Associated words [difficulty]:   sycophant [7]
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Most commonly used in these subjects:   Business, Classic Literature, Logic & Reasoning
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