“The actress was constantly surrounded by sycophants, each of whom had their own ulterior motives.”
As used above, what is the best definition of sycophant?
Sycophant (noun) – a person who heaps hollow praise and flattery on another – especially someone with wealth or power – for their own advancement or personal gain
Sycophantic (adjective) – like a sycophant; or, flattering and fawning in nature, obsequious
Sycophantism (noun) – the act of kissing up to someone for personal gain
GRE pro tips:
Sych sounds like “suck,” and a sycophant is someone who tries to suck life (or money) from another – much like a parasite – and they do so by being sickeningly sweet. In the same way that a parasite attaches itself to a host organism for its own benefit (while bringing nothing to the table), a sycophantic person clings to a person of power, wealth, or influence for their own self-interest. A sycophant will fawn or use flattery to ingratiate himself to another in order to leech personal reward. A jetsetter or an heiress might be surrounded by an entourage of kiss-ass sycophants seeking to live the high life – for free!
“The influencer surrounded herself with sycophants, people dedicated to her promotion and their own advancement.”
“He alienated longtime staffers and replaced them with sycophants and cronies who shared his worldview.”