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