Sycophantic refers to someone who behaves in a fawning or obsequious manner in order to gain favor or advantage.


US English

UK English

Part of Speech



obsequious, servile, fawning, ingratiating, toadyish, unctuous, subservient, groveling.


Independent, candid, sincere, unbiased, frank, honest, genuine, impartial.

Word Forms

Part of Speech Words
Noun sycophancy, sycophants, sycophancies, sycophant
Verb None
Adjective sycophantic
Adverb None

Example Sentences

  • The sycophantic assistant was always trying to curry favor with her boss, even if it meant compromising her own values.

  • I can’t stand the sycophantic behavior of some of my coworkers who only agree with the boss to get ahead.

  • The politician’s sycophantic speeches were enough to make anyone cringe.

  • He was so sycophantic during the job interview that I couldn’t help but feel that he was insincere.


The term sycophantic is often used to describe individuals who use flattery or servitude as a means of gaining favor or advantage from someone in a position of power or authority. It is typically viewed as a negative trait, as sycophantic behavior can be seen as manipulative or disingenuous.

The word sycophantic comes from the ancient Greek term “sukophantes,” which originally referred to someone who brought a false charge against another person in order to gain an advantage. Over time, the meaning of the term has evolved to refer more generally to individuals who engage in flattery, fawning, or servility in order to gain favor. The suffix “-ic” is added to the root word “sycophant” to form the adjective form “sycophantic.”

Sycophantic behavior can manifest in various ways, such as excessive flattery or agreement, ingratiating behavior, or pandering to someone’s preferences or opinions. People who exhibit sycophantic behavior are often viewed as insincere, lacking in integrity, or overly dependent on others for their own success. In certain contexts, such as politics, business, or social circles, sycophantic behavior may be more prevalent, as individuals may perceive that engaging in such behavior is necessary to advance their own interests or goals.

In contrast, qualities such as independence, sincerity, and honesty are antonyms of sycophantic behavior. These traits are seen as positive and valuable, as they demonstrate a willingness to speak truthfully and act with integrity, even in the face of potential personal consequences. It is important for individuals to be mindful of their own behavior and to strive for authenticity and honesty, rather than resorting to sycophantic tactics to get ahead.