Definition of holier-than-thou in English:



  • Characterized by an attitude of moral superiority.

    ‘they had quite a critical, holier-than-thou approach’
    • ‘This self-righteousness, this bilious holier-than-thou attitude not only amazes me, it saddens me quite a bit too.’
    • ‘This is about people and their holier-than-thou attitudes when it comes to picking and choosing their specific little tirades against humanity.’
    • ‘I don't understand the holier-than-thou attitude from someone who has always seemed very level-headed and calm.’
    • ‘What's with the holier-than-thou attitude anyway… don't tell me you have not broken a dozen or two traffic rules?’
    • ‘The group's success led to national media attention, but also provoked animosity, as some accused it of a collective holier-than-thou attitude.’
    • ‘Penn has proved to be the most talented of the bunch, although one can tire of his holier-than-thou attitude to script selection.’
    • ‘I don't want to adopt a holier-than-thou attitude on this, because I have at times been as much at fault as other writers.’
    • ‘I had not been able to stand his put-downs and holier-than-thou attitude.’
    • ‘And I again insist that to re-establish a strong conception of duty, it is not enough to preach from a holier-than-thou position.’
    • ‘Don't give me your sanctimonious, holier-than-thou speech about drinking.’
    • ‘We do not want to watch his ‘out of control’ yet suspiciously manipulative antics nor listen to his condescending, holier-than-thou judgments.’
    • ‘Not only is he arrogant, by his own admission, but also ignorant (as in rude) and insulting with his self-opinionated, holier-than-thou, stance’
    • ‘Rather than face the facts and argue logically with the opposition, you just muscle in and grab the ultimate holier-than-thou slogan which automatically places anyone who dares disagree with you on the side of Satan.’
    • ‘Unfortunately this discussion is always led by a holier-than-thou media: by media commentators who actually view themselves as being separate from politics.’
    • ‘Slightly sheepish in responding to questions over being a regular church-goer, Tom is keen to avoid being presented as a holier-than-thou type.’
    sanctimonious, self-righteous, complacent, smug, self-satisfied, priggish, pious, pietistic, Pharisaic
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