American Dictionary of the English Language

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SYC'OPHANT, noun [Gr. a fig, and to discover.] Originally, an informer against those who stole figs, or exported them contrary to law, etc. Hence in time it came to signify a talebearer or informer, in general; hence, a parasite; a mean flatterer; especially a flatterer of princes and great men; hence, a deceiver; an impostor. Its most general use is in the sense of an obsequious flatterer or parasite.