parasite


parasite
parasite, sycophant, favorite, toady, lickspittle, bootlicker, hanger-on, leech, sponge, sponger all signify a person who is supported or sustained or seeks support or sustenance, usually physical but sometimes social or intellectual, from another without right or justification.
Parasite applies primarily to a person who as a matter of policy is supported more or less by another and gives nothing in return, but it is often extended to anyone who clings to a person of wealth, power, or influence in order to derive personal advantage or who is useless and unnecessary to society
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the ones who evade the earth and live upon the others in some way they have devised. They are the parasites, and they are the despised— Buck

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a court society ridden with parasites

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as our present society disintegrates, this démodé figure will become clearer; the Bohemian, the outsider, the parasite, the rat—one of those figures which have at present no function either in a warring or peaceful world— Forster

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the poorer citizens were little more than parasites, fed with free state bread, amused by free state shows— Buchan

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Sycophant applies to one who clings to a person of wealth, power, or influence and wins or tries to win his favor by fawning, flattery, or adulation
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a man who rose in this world because he curried favor, a sycophantKenneth Roberts

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sycophants who kept him from wholesome contact with reality, who played upon his overweening conceit and confirmed him in his persecutional manias— Overstreet

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Favorite applies to a close associate or intimate of a king or noble who is unduly favored by him, especially with power; it may suggest parasitism or sycophancy on the part of the one favored and often connotes the exerting of undue or improper influence
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huge grants of land to court favorites— W. C. Ford

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reduced to the ranks every officer who had a good record and appointed scoundrelly favorites of his own in their places— Graves

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Pharaoh, his family and his favorites—J. E. M. White

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Toady, often interchangeable with sycophant, stresses more the servility and snobbery of the social climber
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he preens himself in the velvet coat, he spies out the land and sees that the Dowager is "the one"; he becomes the perfect toadyStevie Smith

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this induced a sharp distaste for the flagrant political plunder, the obscene scramble for the loaves and fishes by the spoilsmen and their toadiesSidney Warren

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Lickspittle and bootlicker are interchangeable in common speech with sycophant and toady, implying, however, even stronger contemptibleness Characterized those who disagreed as lickspittles and toadies of official whiggery— Asahel Bush)
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a'lickspittle humility that went beyond flattery— Moorehead

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its principal characters were stupid and bemused commanders, or vicious bootlickers tainted with homosexuality— Sutton

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Hanger-on applies to someone who is regarded, usually contemptuously, as adhering to or depending unduly on another especially for favors
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there were the hangers-on who might be called domestics by inheritance— Ybarra

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a hanger-on at Court, waiting for the preferment that somehow eluded him— Times Lit. Sup.

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those rather hangers-on than friends, whom he treated with the cynical contempt that they deserved— Graves

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Leech stresses the persistence of clinging to or bleeding another for one's own advantage
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hatred for the freeloader or deadbeat. Yet, as a student of humanity, he tolerated these leechesMaule & Cane

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leeches . . . hateful parasites feeding upon the blood of artists!— Robertson Davies

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Sponge and sponger stress a parasitic laziness, dependence, and indifference to the discomforts caused and usually a certain pettiness and constant regard for opportunities to cadge
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all social sponges; all satellites of the court; all beggars of the marketplace— Drummond

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a girl whose disappointment with the world has made her the prey of an unsuccessful crook and sponger—Times Lit. Sup.

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Analogous words: fawner, cringer, truckler (see corresponding verbs at FAWN)

New Dictionary of Synonyms. 2014.

Synonyms:

Look at other dictionaries:

  • parasite — [ parazit ] n. m. et adj. • v. 1500; lat. parasitus, gr. parasitos, de sitos « nourriture » I ♦ N. m. 1 ♦ Antiq. Commensal attaché à la table d un riche, et qui devait le divertir. ♢ Mod. Personne qui se nourrit en sachant se faire inviter chez… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • parasite — PARASITE. subst. masc. Escornifleur, qui fait mestier d aller manger à la table d autruy. Un franc parasite. un parasite affamé. c est le parasite d un tel …   Dictionnaire de l'Académie française

  • Parasite — Par a*site (p[a^]r [.a]*s[imac]t), n. [F., fr. L. parasitus, Gr. para sitos, lit., eating beside, or at the table of, another; para beside + sitei^n to feed, from sitos wheat, grain, food.] [1913 Webster] 1. One who frequents the tables of the… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • parasite — (n.) 1530s, a hanger on, a toady, person who lives on others, from M.Fr. parasite, from L. parasitus, from Gk. parasitos person who eats at the table of another, from noun use of an adjective meaning feeding beside, from para beside (see PARA (Cf …   Etymology dictionary

  • parasite — [par′ə sīt΄] n. [L parasitus < Gr parasitos, one who eats at the table of another, parasite, toady < para , beside (see PARA 1) + sitos, food, grain] 1. a person, as in ancient Greece, who flattered and amused the host in return for free… …   English World dictionary

  • parasite — parasite. См. паразит. (Источник: «Англо русский толковый словарь генетических терминов». Арефьев В.А., Лисовенко Л.А., Москва: Изд во ВНИРО, 1995 г.) …   Молекулярная биология и генетика. Толковый словарь.

  • parasite — noun adsecula, barnacle, beggar, bloodsucker, borrower, burden, cadger, destructive agency, follower, leech, loafer, mendicant, nonworker, panhandler, scrounger, sponge, sycophant Burton s Legal Thesaurus. William C. Burton. 2006 …   Law dictionary

  • parasite — [n] something that exists by taking from or depending on another barnacle, bloodsucker*, bootlicker*, deadbeat*, dependent, flunky, freeloader*, groupie*, hanger on*, idler, leech, scrounger, sponge*, stooge*, sucker*, sycophant, taker*; concepts …   New thesaurus

  • parasite — Parasite, C est à dire Qui suit les lopins. Qui dit et fait tout au gré d autruy, et luy accorde tout pour avoir la repeuë franche, Un flateur pour les morceaux, Un patelin, Un jaquet. Parasitus …   Thresor de la langue françoyse

  • parasite — ► NOUN 1) an organism which lives in or on another organism and benefits at the other s expense. 2) derogatory a person who lives off or exploits others. DERIVATIVES parasitism noun parasitology noun. ORIGIN Greek parasitos person eating at… …   English terms dictionary


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