The Latest from Mr. Vocabulary Man


-fent also -fant
Function: noun
Etymology: Latin sycophanta slanderer, swindler, from Greek sykophantes slanderer, from sykon fig + phainein to show — more at fancy
Date: 1575

Definition: a servile self-seeking flatterer

Synonyms: see “parasite”

Used in a sentence: Olbermann and Matthews, who proved themselves sycophants during the entire Democratic National Convention, wouldn’t have surprised anyone if one of them had begun a sentence with, “Obama, which art in Denver…”.

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