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Supplicant

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(pronounced sup-lih-kunt)  noun and adjective

Definition

(noun) one who supplicates.

Supplicate (pronounced sup-lih-kayt) verb: to make a humble entreaty; beg or ask (of God or of a superior authority) in a posture or attitude suggestive of reverence or servile obedience; to pray or petition humbly and earnestly.

Main Example

  • In recent years, Russian President Vladimir Putin has increasingly become a thorn in the side of NATO. For instance, in March 2014, Russia annexed the Ukrainian territory of Crimea, and ever since it has vigorously supported the separatists in Eastern Ukraine. Just last month, Russian forces conducted high-profile military exercises in Belarus, causing plenty of anxiety in the three neighboring Baltic nations. So what, you might ask, is Putin’s game plan? According to Western diplomats and analysts, the Russian leader’s key objective is to have nearly all of the former Soviet republics become supplicants to Moscow.

Workplace Examples

  • Most everyone at this huge oil refinery in New Jersey knows about my strong credentials with regard to safety and security. So, if the bigwigs in the corporate office decide not to include me on the new, high-powered safety committee that is being created, sure, I’ll be disappointed. However, I’m certainly not going to knock on people’s doors and beg to be included, like some pathetic supplicant.
  • Because you and a couple others had told me about how good Rick is when it comes to executing IT projects, I’ve emailed him twice, urging him to consider joining my new department. But he hasn’t responded, and I don’t want to call him again and again, lest I come across as supplicating or something.

Other Examples

  • during a class on sales training, the instructor telling participants, “When making cold calls, I’m sometimes compelled to point out to the person on the other end that ‘Hey, I’m a professional like you, not a supplicant.’”
  • a few years ago, the Supreme Allied Commander in Afghanistan telling a reporter in frustration: “I think it’ll be more appropriate if you call me the ‘Supreme Allied Supplicant.’ I am spending most of my time begging for one thing or another--today, it is for a helicopter; yesterday it was for some medical supplies; tomorrow it’ll be for something else...”
  • supplicant words, such as “I beg of you...”; “I kneel before you and ask most humbly...”; “I am your most obedient servant...”
  • at a Senate hearing, then-Secretary of State Condi Rice rejecting suggestions from some senators that we should reopen negotiations with Iran, saying that since that nation had not responded favorably to our terms and conditions, to reopen negotiations will make the United States “look like a supplicant

© 2017 V.J. Singal
No part of this may be reproduced in any form without written permission of the author.


This Month's Other Words

truculent
flaccid
supplicant
certitude
discomfit
august


   
   


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