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sanctimony +‎ -ous


  • (UK) IPA(key): /ˌsæŋk.tɪˈməʊ.ni.əs/, /ˌsæŋk.təˈməʊ.ni.əs/
  • (US) IPA(key): /ˌsæŋk.tɪˈmoʊ.ni.əs/, /ˌsæŋk.təˈmoʊ.ni.əs/
  • (file)


sanctimonious (comparative more sanctimonious, superlative most sanctimonious)

  1. Making a show of being morally better than others, especially hypocritically pious.
    • c. 1603–1604 (date written), William Shakespeare, “Measure for Measure”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies [] (First Folio), London: [] Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, OCLC 606515358, [Act I, scene ii]:
      Thou conclud'st like the sanctimonious pirate, that went to sea with the Ten Commandements, but scrap'd one out of the table.
    • 1847, Alfred Tennyson, “Prologue”, in The Princess: A Medley, London: Edward Moxon, [], OCLC 2024748, page 6:
      [O]ne / Discuss'd his tutor, rough to common men / But honeying at the whisper of a lord; / And one the Master, as a rogue in grain / Veneer'd with sanctimonious theory.
    • 2007, Alan Farrell, High Cheekbones, Pouty Lips, Tight Jeans, (→ISBN), page 77:
      It'd be easy to write off Michael Moore as a fat, scruffy, sanctimonious Bolchevik poseur (actually, I do write off Michael Moore as a fat, scruffy, sanctimonious Bolchevik poseur) but the fact is that there's about five minutes of cleverness in this []
    • 2013, Ronald F. Marshall, Kierkegaard for the Church: Essays and Sermons, Wipf and Stock Publishers (→ISBN), page 333:
      And this is indeed needed, since we who consider these awkward Christian ideas are but fearful, sanctimonious people, as Kierkegaard once put it so passionately: O, you sanctimonious people with your love which does not set you apart []
  2. (archaic) Holy, devout.

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