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Righteousness accompanied by an unwarranted attitude of moral or social superiority; smug or hypocritical righteousness.

[Obsolete French sanctimonie, from Latin sānctimōnia, sacredness, from sānctus, holy; see sanctify.]


(ˈsæŋk təˌmoʊ ni)

1. pretended, affected, or hypocritical religious devotion, righteousness, etc.
2. Obs. sanctity; sacredness.
[1530–40; < Latin sānctimōnia holiness. See Sanctus, -mony]
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.sanctimony - the quality of being hypocritically devout
hypocrisy - insincerity by virtue of pretending to have qualities or beliefs that you do not really have


A show or expression of feelings or beliefs one does not actually hold or possess:
References in periodicals archive ?
Her sanctimony is becoming nauseating to say the least, especially when she is making millions out of violent movies that other people's kids will see.
It seems to us that there is an element of undeserving sanctimony in their viewpoint.
Glen also impresses, his soft-spoken sternness simmering with rage and self-righteous contempt, delivering words of pure menace with chilling sanctimony.
The world has not lost its impatience for reproach, and scourges must resign themselves to the narrow satisfactions of sanctimony.
Christopher Buckley, a Washington journalist and ex-smoker, appreciates the absurdity of such fulminations, and much of this satiric novel (his fourth) pokes fun at the sanctimony of the anti-smoking movement.
Shame on you," he roared from the podium, oozing sanctimony and manufactured outrage in equal measure.
It is the film of Reno's one-woman standup show that takes a scathing look at sanctimony and patriotism post-Sept.
It is the detail that exposes the sanctimony, the cynicism and the arrogance that sets this government apart from its predecessors.
Missing the irony, while laying on the sanctimony, Anthea claimed the C- list housemates were just in the house for personal gain.
By the play's literally deus ex machina ending, the timbre has drifted uncomfortably near sanctimony.
What is required is pastoral zeal stemming from sustained contact with ordinary people in the pew, not the cold sanctimony of academia that has characterised so many episcopal appointments up to now.
Us girls, meantime, did what girls do best - switched between sanctimony, silence, diplomacy and ripostes.