Curry favor


      • seek to gain favor or approval
        Attempt to please or flatter someone in order to gain their support or goodwill

      • prioritize one's own interests
        Act in a way that is self-serving or manipulative in order to gain an advantage or benefit for oneself

      • bribe or persuade
        Attempt to influence someone by offering them something desirable or valuable, often with dishonest or unethical intentions

    Examples of Curry favor

    • The CEO of the company curries favor with his boss by always being the first to arrive at work and the last to leave.

      This idiom means to try and win the approval or support of someone in a position of authority. In this example, the CEO is going above and beyond to show his boss that he is a dedicated and hardworking employee.

    • Sarah curries favor with her coworkers by bringing in homemade treats for everyone to enjoy.

      This idiom can also refer to seeking approval from others in your social circle. In this example, Sarah is using her baking skills to win favor with her coworkers and potentially improve her reputation within the workplace.

    • In order to secure a promotion, Tom has been currying favor with his superiors by consistently meeting his performance goals and taking on extra assignments.

      This idiom can also be used in a professional context to indicate that someone is trying to gain the approval of their superiors in order to advance in their career. In this example, Tom is using his work ethic to curry favor with his superiors and potentially earn a promotion.

    • The student curries favor with the teacher by submitting her assignments early and asking insightful questions during class.

      This idiom can also be used in an academic context to indicate that a student is trying to gain the approval of their teacher. In this example, the student is demonstrating her diligence and eagerness to learn, which may lead to the teacher giving her preferential treatment.

    • The new CEO has been currying favor with the board of directors by organizing regular team-building events for them.

      This example shows how the CEO is trying to win over the members of the board of directors by planning and implementing activities that will help strengthen their relationship. The phrase "curry favor" is being used figuratively, as the CEO is not literally preparing food for the board.

    • Jake's friend always curries favor with him by lending him his expensive cars for weekend drives.

      In this example, Jake's friend is trying to gain Jake's goodwill by borrowing him his luxury cars. This action is intended to win Jake's favor, as he values expensive cars and would likely appreciate such loans.

    • The politician curried favor with her constituents by frequently visiting their neighborhoods and listening to their concerns.

      Here, the politician is showing her support for her constituents by spending time with them and hearing out their problems. By doing so, she is winning their favor and possibly gaining their votes in future elections.

    • The salesman curried favor with his superiors by consistently exceeding his sales targets.

      This example demonstrates how the salesman is earning the approval of his superiors by consistently meeting and surpassing his sales goals. This action is intended to make a positive impression on his superiors and potentially lead to promotions or other professional opportunities.


    The idiom "curry favor" is primarily used to describe someone who is trying to gain favor or approval from someone else. This can be achieved through various means such as flattery, prioritizing one's own interests, or even through bribery or manipulation. The underlying intention behind this idiom is to seek advantage or benefits from another person by winning their support or approval.

    In some cases, the phrase "curry favor" can also have a negative connotation, implying that the person is being insincere or dishonest in their efforts to gain favor. This can be seen in situations where someone is trying to use flattery or manipulation to get what they want, rather than genuinely trying to build a positive relationship with the other person.

    Origin of "Curry favor"

    The origin of the idiom "curry favor" can be traced back to medieval times, where it was believed that horses would be treated with currycombs (a type of grooming tool) to make their coats shiny and attractive. This practice was often used to present the horses in a better light to potential buyers. This idea of grooming or presenting something in a favorable way eventually evolved into the figurative use of "curry favor" to describe someone who is trying to make themselves appealing or desirable to others.

    The word "curry" in this context is believed to have come from the Middle English word "curayen" meaning "to groom" or "to dress." The word "favor" has its roots in the Latin word "favor" meaning "goodwill" or "kindness." Over time, the phrase "curry favor" has become a common idiom used in English to describe someone who is trying to gain favor or approval from others, often through insincere or manipulative means.