A supplicant is a person who asks for something in a humble or earnest way, especially from someone in power or authority. The word can also be used as an adjective to describe someone who is making such a request. The word comes from the Latin verb supplicare, which means “to kneel down” or “to beg”.
Some synonyms of supplicant are petitioner, pleader, solicitor, suitor, and suppliant. Some antonyms are demander, dictator, and tyrant. Here are some examples of how to use supplicant in a sentence:
The king was surrounded by supplicants who wanted his favor and protection.
She approached her boss as a supplicant, hoping he would grant her a raise.
He was not used to being a supplicant; he preferred to give orders rather than ask for help.
In computer networking, a supplicant is also a term for a device or a software that seeks to be authenticated by another device or software called an authenticator. This is part of the IEEE 802.1X standard for network access control. For example, a laptop that wants to connect to a wireless network is a supplicant, and the router that verifies its credentials is an authenticator.
Some examples of how to use supplicant in this context are:
The supplicant sends its identity and credentials to the authenticator using the Extensible Authentication Protocol (EAP).
The authenticator checks the supplicant’s information with an authentication server and grants or denies access to the network.
If the supplicant fails to authenticate, it may retry with a different method or contact the network administrator.
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The word supplicant has a long history in literature and religion. In many ancient cultures, people would kneel down or prostrate themselves before their gods or rulers to show their respect and devotion. They would also offer prayers, sacrifices, or gifts to ask for blessings, forgiveness, or favors. These acts of worship and supplication were often accompanied by rituals, ceremonies, or hymns.
In the Bible, the word supplicant is used to describe people who pray to God for help, guidance, or mercy. For example, in Psalm 86:1, David says: “Hear me, LORD, and answer me, for I am poor and needy.” In Luke 18:13, a tax collector says: “God, have mercy on me, a sinner.” In both cases, the supplicants acknowledge their weakness and dependence on God and appeal to his grace and compassion.
In modern times, the word supplicant is less common in everyday speech, but it still appears in some contexts. For example, in politics, a supplicant may be a person or a group who asks for support, funding, or endorsement from a powerful or influential person or organization. In law, a supplicant may be a person who appeals to a higher court or authority for a review or reversal of a decision. In literature, a supplicant may be a character who seeks the love, forgiveness, or approval of another character.