Definitions

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

  • n. A toady.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A fawning, obsequious parasite; a mean sycophant or flatterer.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A fawning, obsequious parasite; a mean sycophant; a flatterer; a toady.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • A mountebank's boy who ate, or pretended to eat, toads (supposed to be poison-ous), in order to give his master an opportunity to show his skill in expelling poison.
  • A fawning, obsequious parasite; a mean sycophant; a toady.

Etymologies

Originally, a charlatan's helper who ate (or pretended to eat) poisonous toads so that his employer could display his prowess in expelling the poison.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
toad +‎ eater, said to allude to an old alleged practice among mountebanks' boys of eating toads (popularly supposed to be poisonous), so that their masters could pretend to effect a cure. Compare toady. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • So you may guess that the matter on which he had sent for me was one of the gravest national import - Prince Albert, our saintly Bertie the Beauty, wanted a new aide-de-camp, or equerry, or toadeater-extraordinary, and nothing would do but our new Commander must set all else aside to see the thing was done properly.

    The Sky Writer

  • She was a toadeater here, too, seeking to curry favour with M.P. as with the rest, by fawning on her, in a way for which she could afterwards have hit herself.

    The Getting of Wisdom

  • The temptation to lay hands on the cringing little toadeater grew too strong for me, and I picked him up by the scruff of the collar, -- he was all skin and bones, -- and spun him round like a corpse upon a gibbet, while he cried mercy in a voice to wake the dead.

    Richard Carvel — Volume 04

  • The captain was a rake and a bully and a toadeater, of course, with a loud and profane tongue, and he had had a bottle too many in the duke's travelling-coach.

    Richard Carvel

  • For in the achievements of the table, what toadeater besides can be compared with them?

    Works of Lucian of Samosata — Volume 01

  • Nor let be supposed that he was in any way a toadeater.

    A Dark Night's Work

  • At five she had to attend her colleague, Madame Schwellenberg, a hateful old toadeater, as illiterate as a chambermaid, as proud as a whole German Chapter, rude, peevish, unable to bear solitude, unable to conduct herself with common decency in society.

    Critical and Historical Essays, Volume III (of 3)

  • When they came, he presented them to a lady, dressed foreign, as a princess of the house of 'Brandenburg: she had a toadeater, and there was another man, who gave himself for a count.

    The Letters of Horace Walpole, Earl of Orford — Volume 1

  • Well somehow Vista does run better on my pc, i only use XP due to my tvcard waruikoohii on 04 Mar 2009 - 14: 47 toadeater on 05 Mar 2009 - 23: 59

    ActiveWin.com Headlines

  • Chris-Gonzales on 02 Mar 2009 - 23: 50 toadeater on 02 Mar 2009 - 23: 55

    Neowin.net / All

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