ihcoyc: Bad literature (Bad literature)
Etymologically and notionally, both *suppliants* and *supplicants* are making impassioned and formal pleas for aid from positions of deep humility.

At least to my ear, though, there is a clear distinction between the two, and the words are not redundant to each other. A supplicant craves mercy from the angered, typically from the majesty he has offended, usually a deity or king. A suppliant craves asylum, from the weak to the strong, often from a third party: the suppliant seeks to be defended from a pursuing enemy. A supplicant throws herself at the feet of her foe; a suppliant, at the feet of a champion whom she hopes will defend her.

So supplicate seems the wrong verb for what a suppliant does. So what's the right verb? Or have I imagined the alleged distinction between suppliants and supplicants?

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ihcoyc

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