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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 ?
Holt wrote: "I'm sorry, but I really don't get the outpouring of outrage and sanctimony that has greeted their apparently imminent signing of Alexis Sanchez.
Accordingly, Bacevich concluded that 'American power has limits and is inadequate to the ambitions to which hubris and sanctimony have given rise.
Boyle added, "I have discovered there is little that cannot be overcome by enough Sufi patience, Irish irreverence and Canadian sanctimony.
Landis, with the visage of an Old Testament Jeremiah, took every chance to spew his sanctimony regarding the Black Sox, banning the players from baseball for life despite their earlier acquittal by a sympathetic jury in Chicago.
He reiterated his political party's firm belief in the sanctimony of the people's will and right for change.
With gentle sanctimony, my editor informed me that the editorial position of the paper was in keeping with the corporate position which was "pro-choice.
If the left can drop the sanctimony, and the right can drop the obstructionism, if instead of wrestling with each other we can grapple with the evidence, we can save thousands of lives a year.
The campaign rhetoric of the nationalists before the general election was positively dripping in sanctimony.
At the same time, there are a few leaders who will move heaven and earth in their 'mission' to avoid a stint behind bars, the sanctimony of the 'Holy precincts' notwithstanding
We should provide assistance - legal, medical, psychological - but abandon the self-serving sanctimony.
She finds peace without sanctimony and divines wisdom from the most unlikely sources - Gandalf is a frequent comfort - and she is not afraid to admit to her own humanity.