What does sanctimony mean?

Definitions for sanctimony
ˈsæŋk təˌmoʊ nisanc·ti·mo·ny

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word sanctimony.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. sanctimoniousness, sanctimonynoun

    the quality of being hypocritically devout


  1. sanctimonynoun

    A hypocritical form of excessive piety, considered to be an affectation merely for public show.

  2. Etymology: From sanctimonia, from sanctus + -monia.

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. Sanctimonynoun

    Holiness; scrupulous austerity; appearance of holiness.

    Etymology: sanctimonia, Latin.

    If sanctimony, and a frail vow between an errant Barbarian and a supersubtle Venetian, be not too hard for my wit, and all the tribe of hell, thou shalt enjoy her. William Shakespeare, Othello.

    Her pretence is a pilgrimage to St. Jaques le Grand, which holy undertaking, with most austere sanctimony, she accomplish’d. William Shakespeare, All’s well that ends well.

    There was great reason why all discreet princes should beware of yielding hasty belief to the robes of sanctimony. Ral.


  1. sanctimony

    Self-righteousness, also called sanctimoniousness, sententiousness and holier-than-thou attitudes is a feeling or display of (usually smug) moral superiority derived from a sense that one's beliefs, actions, or affiliations are of greater virtue than those of the average person. Self-righteous individuals are often intolerant of the opinions and behaviors of others. A self-righteous person might also be described as being uninterested in seeking an unselfish or objective standard of right and wrong, independently of how they interact with other people. The term "self-righteous" is often considered derogatory (see, for example, journalist and essayist James Fallows' description of self-righteousness in regard to Nobel Peace Prize winners) particularly because self-righteous individuals are often thought to exhibit hypocrisy due to the belief that humans are imperfect and can therefore never be infallible, an idea similar to that of the Freudian defense mechanism of reaction formation. The connection between self-righteousness and hypocrisy predates Freud's views, however, as evidenced by the 1899 book Good Mrs. Hypocrite by the pseudonymous author "Rita".


  1. sanctimony

    Sanctimony is the act or practice of pretending to be morally superior to others, often expressed through hypocritical behavior. It's a false or hypocritical piety or righteousness.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Sanctimonynoun

    holiness; devoutness; scrupulous austerity; sanctity; especially, outward or artificial saintliness; assumed or pretended holiness; hypocritical devoutness

  2. Etymology: [L. sanctimonia, fr. sanctus holy: cf. OF. sanctimonie. See Saint.]

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  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of sanctimony in Chaldean Numerology is: 7

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of sanctimony in Pythagorean Numerology is: 7

Examples of sanctimony in a Sentence

  1. Orrin Hatch:

    Squabbling and sanctimony may be tolerated in other venues -- or perhaps on the campaign trail.

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"sanctimony." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 20 Jul 2024. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/sanctimony>.

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