syc·o·phant (sĭkə-fənt, sīkə-)
A person who attempts to gain advantage by flattering influential people or behaving in a servile manner.
[Latin sȳcophanta, informer, slanderer, from Greek sūkophantēs, informer, from sūkon phainein, to show a fig (perhaps originally said of denouncers of theft or exportation of figs or of persons making a lascivious gesture resembling a fig) : sūkon, fig; see FIG1 + phainein, to show; see bhā-1 in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
syc′o·phantic (-făntĭk), syc′o·phanti·cal (-tĭ-kəl) adj.
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Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
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