- Obsequious flattery; servility.
- False accusation; calumniation; talebearing.
- The character or characteristic of a sycophant.
Alternative phrases are often used such as:
The Greek for sycophant is συκοφάντης (sykophántēs). It suggests someone who brings all kinds of charges and proves none, according to a client of Demosthenes. A client of Lysias adds the perspective of blackmail: "It is their practice to bring charges even against those who have done no wrong. For from these they would gain most profit."  In this context, the word entails false accusation, malicious prosecution, and abuse of legal process for mischievous or fraudulent purposes.
In ancient Greece the word was the Athenian counterpart of the Roman delator, a public informer. In modern Greek the term has retained its ancient classical meaning, and is still used to describe a slanderer or a calumniator.
Psychology and sociology of sycophancy
Sycophants in popular culture
- Uriah Heep
- Waylon Smithers
- WWE wrestler Chris Jericho constantly refers to the audience as sycophants in his heel persona.
- Comedy Dave off of The Chris Moyles Show on BBC Radio 1
- Eddie Haskell
- Dwight Schrute
- Andy Bernard
- Demos. Ivii.34
- Lysias, xxv.3
- Clark LP A Psychological Study of Sycophancy. Psychoanalytic Review 21:15-39 (1934)
- Lofberg, John Oscar, Sycophancy in Athens (2008)