Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A liveried male servant; a footman.
  • noun A servile follower; a toady.
  • intransitive verb To wait on as a footman; attend.
  • intransitive verb To act in a servile manner; fawn.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun An attending servant; a runner; a footboy or footman; hence, any servile follower.
  • noun A lackey-moth.
  • To wait on as or like a lackey; attend servilely; serve as a menial.
  • To act as a lackey or footman; give servile attendance.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • transitive verb To attend as a lackey; to wait upon.
  • noun An attending male servant; a footman; a servile follower.
  • noun (Zoöl.) the caterpillar, or larva, of any bombycid moth of the genus Clisiocampa; -- so called from its party-colored markings. The common European species (Clisiocampa neustria) is striped with blue, yellow, and red, with a white line on the back. The American species (Clisiocampa Americana and Clisiocampa sylvatica) are commonly called tent caterpillars. See Tent caterpillar, under Tent.
  • noun (Zoöl.) the moth which produces the lackey caterpillar.
  • intransitive verb To act or serve as lackey; to pay servile attendance.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun A footman, a liveried male servant.
  • noun A fawning, servile follower; a lickspittle.
  • verb transitive To attend, wait upon, serve obsequiously
  • verb intransitive, obsolete To toady, play the flunky

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun a person who tries to please someone in order to gain a personal advantage
  • noun a male servant (especially a footman)

Etymologies

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[French laquais, from Old French.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Middle French laquais, which is probably (via Old Provençal lacai?) from Spanish lacayo, itself perhaps from Italian lacchè and Greek λακές (lakés), from Turkish ulak. Another possibility is through French, from Catalan alacay, from Arabic القاضي (al-qāḍi, "magistrate"). See French laquais.

Examples

  • Only the hapless Ring lackey is duped and cornered into making some very wrong choices.

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  • I can tell you this, if she thinks that scoring points with some Bush Administration lackey is in the best interest of Aggies, then she is sadly mistaken.

    Deutschgate in the Media

  • Libya's state television broadcast on Thursday what it said was a telephone conversation between the U.S. ambassador and the commander in charge of rebel forces in the east, who it described as a "lackey."

    The Full Feed from HuffingtonPost.com

  • Libya's state television broadcast on Thursday what it said was a telephone conversation between the U.S. ambassador and the commander in charge of rebel forces in the east, who it described as a "lackey."

    The Full Feed from HuffingtonPost.com

  • Fans of that film will be forgiven for assuming that both Hill and Brand reprise their roles: in fact, Hill plays a thus-far entirely unrelated character named Aaron Green, a record-label lackey enlisted by Diddy's character to keep Russell in line as the pair makes their way to a concert performance.

    Cinematical

  • So off the wagon he goes - just in time for a lower-rung record-label lackey named

    Riverfront Times | Complete Issue

  • Inwardly as distressed as the Thienz, Scait strode from the hall without pause to call a lackey to replace the rent limb of his throne arm.

    Shadowfane

  • One morning he and his wife were in their coach before the Hotel-Dieu, waiting for a reply that their lackey was a very long time in bringing them.

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  • And to get ready you are willing to link arms now with Senator Bough -- a man you once called the lackey of Wall Street -- a man who has always opposed every democratic principle.

    The Atlantic Book of Modern Plays

  • Then his Majesty's friend, Grumbkow, craving the Duke's permission, called the lackey in charge, who produced the King's huge pipe, and in a few minutes the Landhofmeisterin saw the stately banqueting-hall take the aspect and smell of a tabagie.

    A German Pompadour Being the Extraordinary History of Wilhelmine van Grävenitz, Landhofmeisterin of Wirtemberg

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