Definition of lickspittle in English:



  • A person who behaves obsequiously to those in power.

    • ‘This is why you get all this thrashing about in the press and why we are drenched in the babble of the lickspittles and tintookies around them.’
    • ‘But last year the public outcry about these dirty deeds finally reached critical mass, shaming the drug companies' Washington lickspittles into looking at their shoes when their longtime patrons came calling for favors.’
    • ‘Just one quibble: the token phrase ‘while congratulating England's players’ might look a tad lickspittle to true believers.’
    • ‘But if being a member of Cabinet means being a lickspittle who must stifle one's conscience for 30 pieces of silver because the PM says so, then the St Lucia Cabinet is no place for a woman of her integrity and courage.’
    • ‘A government that began with a Commons majority of 179 behaved in a lickspittle fashion towards its natural enemies.’
    • ‘All the rest is a soap opera dreamed up by politicians and their lickspittles in the London media, just as mad Roman emperors gave their citizens bread and circuses to keep them from revolting.’
    • ‘No, his great and powerful enemies are America's local lickspittles.’
    • ‘It is advisable that he weigh more carefully his disdainful utterances if he wants to be taken seriously beyond the narrow circle of his lickspittles.’
    • ‘And so, in classic bully fashion, he and his gang of lickspittles have decided to pick on the weaker kids instead.’
    • ‘First, he explains his political position lest anyone accuse him of being a lickspittle of the aristocracy.’
    • ‘If you want it reduced to a bunch of craven lickspittles, then you seem to be following the correct procedure.’
    • ‘‘Bourbon for my lickspittle,’ he ranted at the barkeep.’
    • ‘Serfdom did not reach them, and they looked on European Russians as lickspittles and prided themselves on their lack of deference to the centre.’
    • ‘The parties could put forward nominees, but it would be up to the commission to weed out the worthless lickspittles and the timid timeservers.’
    • ‘His spirit is cheerful throughout all of this: ‘I delight to do thy will, O God, ‘he cries joyfully, not as some obsequious lickspittle.’’
    • ‘In Dr. Faustus Zeitbloom reflects: ‘[L] iars and lickspittles mixed us a poison draught and took away our senses.’’
    • ‘Blogs, talk-radio and cable have exposed them lickspittles by forcing them into open conflict on ideas and facts.’
    • ‘That proves he's a lickspittle slave of tyrants!’
    • ‘Lately he was even guest of honour at the Press Complaints Commission bash, so delighted is he with the lickspittles that pass for our supposedly-fearless Fleet Street editors.’
    • ‘As many recent examples make clear, the truth counts for nothing with the present administration and its fawning, talk-radio lickspittles.’
    sycophant, toady, lackey, flunkey, minion, stooge, kowtower, truckler, groveller, crawler, creep, fawner, flatterer, lickspittle, uriah heep, puppet, cat's paw, instrument, pawn, underling, hanger-on, camp follower, doormat, spaniel
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