Definition of sanctimonious in English:


See synonyms for sanctimonious

Translate sanctimonious into Spanish


  • Making a show of being morally superior to other people.

    • ‘what happened to all the sanctimonious talk about putting his family first?’
    • ‘But with this aid went a lot of sanctimonious preaching about the superiority of the American way of life.’
    • ‘If it is, then his comeback should be welcomed, because he does have an opportunity to do something positive, even against the inevitable background of sanctimonious and hypocritical noise.’
    • ‘There has been a massive growth in recent years of a new type of Irish person - the smug, sanctimonious person who has just moved from a city to what he or she considers the countryside.’
    • ‘Lest I be further accused of being sanctimonious or self-righteous, I confess I am no model of student participation.’
    • ‘Many of us have tired of his sanctimonious, smug condescension.’
    • ‘Fairytales were always a bit of a swindle, bribing us with happy endings to accept their sanctimonious morality.’
    • ‘How dare a midwife behave in such a sanctimonious and self-righteous manner.’
    • ‘The priests and priestesses are pious, sanctimonious bastards.’
    • ‘Don't give me your sanctimonious, holier-than-thou speech about drinking.’
    • ‘The themes of the film are worn on its striped, embroidered sleeve, and often the script gets preachy with its sanctimonious moralizing.’
    • ‘Never sanctimonious or smug, his art seems founded on a sense of rectitude.’
    • ‘Sadly this tone of sanctimonious self-righteousness characterises much of the exhibition.’
    • ‘The most common line of attack from these sanctimonious scribes is that the Catholic Church is not a democracy and that so-called a la carte Catholics should get out of the church.’
    • ‘She did not question the fact that the film was intended to portray a truth about sanctimonious priests posing as the saviours of a religious heritage.’
    • ‘For example, sanctimonious relief initially greeted a survey that showed the model republic to have got its best support in the referendum from voters in the more affluent urban neighbourhoods.’
    • ‘Even jogging, while seemingly harmless, has encouraged damp, smelly and sanctimonious people to stride down our streets with grinning notions of moral superiority.’
    • ‘But we don't need the sanctimonious scolding of a student newspaper editor to tell us voting for a party, any party, is a manifestation of our stupidity and ignorance.’
    • ‘From my experience, hostility coming from the Left is a direct response to the sanctimonious, oppressive dogma and bigotry that emanates from the political Right.’
    • ‘She somehow fails to mention that his massive highway projects enabled the sanctimonious suburbanites to get out of the city and into the suburbs in the first place.’
    • ‘I didn't want it to be this sanctimonious, preachy thing.’
    self-righteous, holier-than-thou, churchy, pious, pietistic, moralizing, unctuous, smug, superior, priggish, mealy-mouthed, hypocritical, insincere, for form's sake, to keep up appearances
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/ˌsaNG(k)təˈmōnēəs/ /ˌsæŋ(k)təˈmoʊniəs/


Early 17th century (in the sense ‘holy in character’): from Latin sanctimonia ‘sanctity’ (from sanctus ‘holy’) + -ous.