fawn


fawn
fawn vb Fawn, toady, truckle, cringe, cower are comparable when they mean to act or behave with abjectness in the presence of a superior.
Fawn implies a courting of favor by such acts of a sycophant as servile flattery and exaggerated deference
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they fawn on the proud feet that spurn them lying low— Shelley

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courtiers who fawn on a master while they betray him— Macaulay

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they fawn and slaver over us— Jeffers

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died, still fawning like the coward that he had always been— Pares

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Toady carries a strong implication of a menial as well as of a fawning attitude in an attempt to ingratiate oneself; often also it suggests the close following of a hanger-on or parasite or the vulgarly imitative behavior of a social climber
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toadying to the rich boys in his school

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her generosity encouraged toadying among her neighbors

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he toadied and worshipped and worried: he became timid and obsequious, feeling himself to be a flaw, a little scratching cinder among immensities— Enright

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in proportion as he submits and toadies, he also will dominate and bully— Mead

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Truckle implies subordination of self or submission of one's desires, judgments, or opinions to those of a superior
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everybody must defer. A nation must wait upon her decision, a dean and chapter truckle to her wishes— Sackville-West

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there are people who will always truckle to those who have money— Archibald Marshall

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Cringe implies obsequious bowing or crouching as if in awe or fear; it usually connotes abject abasement
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we are sneaking and bowing and cringing on the one hand, or bullying and scorning on the other— Thackeray

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she is very humble and careless of self. "My poor, humble self" . . . is often on her lips; but she never cringes or loses dignity— Symonds

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Cower always implies abject fear, often cowardly fear, especially in the presence of those who tyrannize or domineer
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the whole family cowered under Lady Kew's eyes and nose, and she ruled by force of them— Thackeray

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having found . . . every incentive to cower and cringe and hedge, and no incentive ... to stand upright as a man— Brooks

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Analogous words: blandish, cajole, wheedle, *coax: defer, bow, cave, *yield, submit: court, woo, *invite
Antonyms: domineer

New Dictionary of Synonyms. 2014.

Synonyms:

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  • Fawn — Fawn, n. [OF. faon the young one of any beast, a fawn, F. faon a fawn, for fedon, fr. L. fetus. See {Fetus}.] 1. (Zo[ o]l.) A young deer; a buck or doe of the first year. See {Buck}. [1913 Webster] 2. The young of an animal; a whelp. [Obs.] [1913 …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Fawn — Fawn, a. Of the color of a fawn; fawn colored. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • fawn — ‘young deer’ [14] and fawn ‘grovel’ [13] are two distinct words. The latter did not always have the negative associations of ‘servility’ which it usually carries today. Originally it simply referred to dogs showing they were happy – by wagging… …   The Hutchinson dictionary of word origins

  • fawn — ‘young deer’ [14] and fawn ‘grovel’ [13] are two distinct words. The latter did not always have the negative associations of ‘servility’ which it usually carries today. Originally it simply referred to dogs showing they were happy – by wagging… …   Word origins

  • fawn on — ˈfawn over ˈfawn on [transitive] [present tense I/you/we/they fawn over he/she/it fawns over present participle fawning over past tens …   Useful english dictionary

  • Fawn — Fawn, v. i. [Cf. F. faonner.] To bring forth a fawn. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Fawn — Fawn, v. i. [imp. & p. p. {Fawned}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Fawning}.] [OE. fawnen, fainen, fagnien, to rejoice, welcome, flatter, AS. f[ae]gnian to rejoice; akin to Icel. fagna to rejoice, welcome. See {Fain}.] To court favor by low cringing, frisking …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • fawn — fawn·ing·ly; fawn; fawn·ing·ness; …   English syllables

  • Fawn — Fawn, n. A servile cringe or bow; mean flattery; sycophancy. Shak. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • fawn — [n] baby deer baby buck, baby doe, yearling; concepts 394,400 fawn [v] ingratiate oneself to; serve abase, apple polish*, be at beck and call*, be obsequious, be servile, blandish, bow, brownnose*, buddy up*, butter up*, cajole, cater to, cave in …   New thesaurus


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