from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. Pharisaic doctrine and practice; zeal for the 'traditions of the elders,' and the exact observance of the ritual laws; hence, rigid observance of external rites and forms of religion without genuine piety; hypocrisy in religion.


  • Was this change wrought by the ascetic habits of a pharisaism which is not piety any more than avarice is economy?

    A Second Home, by Honore de Balzac

  • Into his pictures of this man, attired in the long black coat of conventional respectability, with the smug face of pharisaism, he could get nothing but cant and hypocrisy; but in his caricatures of Clayton there was that which pained him worse -- disloyalty, untruth, and now and then, to the discerning few who knew the tragedy of Kittrell's soul, there was pity.

    Americans All Stories of American Life of To-Day

  • It is to be remembered that there is also the pharisaism which always forms a hard shell about every kernel of religion; and the pharisaism of the correct costume is the most complacent of all forms of self-righteousness.

    Jewel Weed, by Alice Ames Winter


The Pharisees were 'a Jewish political party and school of thought that flourished during the Second Temple Era (536 BCE–70 CE).'