Definition of kiss up to in English:

kiss up to

phrasal verb

North American
informal
  • Behave sycophantically or obsequiously towards (someone) in order to obtain something.

    • ‘Often times, the ‘priests’ would not even belong to a religion, but would be scientists or philosophers kissing up to the current elite.’
    • ‘This is the little teacher's pet who kisses up to Mr. Maddox.’
    • ‘Now, I'm forced to take orders from a woman who kisses up to the most spineless person I meet!’
    • ‘He began to prance around his classroom, joking with his cronies, flirting with the girls and kissing up to the teacher.’
    • ‘OK, now that I'm done kissing up to my new boss, let's move on to the reason you're reading this column - literary news and events.’
    • ‘Even if these gals were your only friends, you can't spend your days kissing up to them.’
    • ‘He's being kissed up to in public, but the knives are out for him.’
    • ‘Trying to kiss up to her boss, Ellen instead puts her foot in her mouth and ends up in a Mexican prison.’
    • ‘He seemingly scheduled every day around publicly kissing up to the people who hate him most.’
    be obsequious to, be sycophantic to, be servile to, curry favour with, pay court to, play up to, crawl to, creep to, ingratiate oneself with, dance attendance on, fall over oneself for, kowtow to, toady to, truckle to, bow and scrape before, grovel before, cringe before, abase oneself before
    View synonyms