- The definition of a sycophant is a person who tries to gain attention by flattering wealthy or influential people.
An example of a sycophant is someone who agrees with everything his boss says and who brings his boss gifts once a month.
Origin: L sycophanta from Glassical Greek sykophantēs, informer, literally , maker of the sign of the fig from sykon, fig plush phainein, to show: see fantasy
Used by arrangement with John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
Origin: Latin sȳcophanta, informer, slanderer, from Greek sūkophantēs, informer, from sūkon phainein, to show a fig (probably originally said of denouncers of theft or exportation of figs) : sūkon, fig + phainein, to show; see bhā-1 in Indo-European roots.
- sycˌo·phanˈtic , sycˌo·phanˈti·cal adjective
- sycˌo·phanˈti·cal·ly adverb