Definition of flunky in US English:


(also flunkey)


  • 1A liveried manservant or footman.

    • ‘One of his characters in the show is Sebastian, the loyal flunky of prime minister Anthony Head, driven to distraction by the love-that-dare-not-speak-its-name.’
    • ‘When he opened the door, he was looking at a liveried flunky, a young boy who seemed very nervous and gaped in wonder at him.’
    • ‘His father was head of the Congo less than a year when the kid arrived in Gstaad covered in gold with five flunkeys living in the Palace Hotel, attending to all his needs.’
    • ‘Let Hobart thrill to levees and martial parades of Her Majesty's arms, and fêtes champêtre served by liveried flunkeys.’
    • ‘A liveried flunkey doffed his cap and drove the Peugeot away while others dutifully hauled luggage about.’
    • ‘Liveried flunkies rushed forward to open the doors, TV lights flared, cameras flashed and the crowd cheered as the celebrities stepped into the blinding glare.’
    liveried manservant, liveried servant, lackey, steward, butler, footman, valet, retainer, attendant, factotum, houseboy, page
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    1. 1.1 A person who performs relatively menial tasks for someone else, especially obsequiously.
      • ‘I have worked in shady professions, most recently as a political flunky and public relations hack.’
      • ‘I've killed one of their flunkies before and pawned off the ring.’
      • ‘Fortunately, Judge Jones sounds reasonable and sensible, and not a little put out by the obvious chicanery of the drug addict and his flunky laundering donations through a church.’
      • ‘Apparently, the creepy entourage accompanying the star were not his flunkies but church elders ready to perform an instant baptism there and then.’
      • ‘He portrays himself as a victim in The Fabulist and presents easily identifiable co-workers as the ass, the flunky, and the backstabber.’
      • ‘‘Good job’ is what a journalism instructor might say to an undergraduate student after an interview exercise for which he would be getting a B +, or to a flunky who had done as instructed.’
      • ‘Brit - there's no way a touching, personal message like that could have come from a flunky sat in a mobile phone company office, could it?’
      • ‘Being a flunkey is a lot more taxing than people think.’
      • ‘His father, after all, has a flunky whose job is to put toothpaste on his master's toothbrush.’
      • ‘Thousands of people are dead and he is impressing his flunkies with his ‘inside knowledge’ of the act.’
      • ‘His flunkies came running around the corner and they threw themselves at Tal.’
      • ‘‘Get him some,’ Bishop instructed his flunkies.’
      • ‘Lenny's flunkies patrolled the club asking people to respect his wishes.’
      • ‘Writers surround themselves with flunkeys and acolytes who will always be ready to assist.’
      • ‘For three years we sort of suspected that no-way Fred wrote the first part - the editorialising and pontificating bit, but probably pawned off the rest of it to a flunky.’
      • ‘Finally, a flunky brought me and my photographer into the room to behold His Excellency.’
      • ‘But if you set foot in Delphi, if you send any of your little flunkies after any of my people, I'll come after you.’
      • ‘In the end, after more questions about the leaks and who was responsible, he had to be rescued by a flunky - which seems to be happening with disturbing regularity.’
      • ‘I'm defining a flunky as a person who will do your bidding against the best interests of their nation.’
      • ‘First examine this 1981 exchange between the strip's resident outlaw and a flunky from the National Rifle Association, set in a Washington bar.’
      minion, lackey, hireling, subordinate, underling, servant, retainer, vassal
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Mid 18th century (originally Scots): perhaps from flank in the sense ‘a person who stands at one's flank’.