Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • adj. Hypocritically benevolent; sanctimonious.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Characteristic of or resembling Pecksniff, one of the characters in Dickens's “Martin Chuzzlewit,” characterized by an ostentatious hypocritical display of benevolence or high principle.

Etymologies

After Seth Pecksniff, a character in Martin Chuzzlewit, a novel by Charles Dickens.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)

Examples

  • "Pecksniffian," for example, was used by Bill O'Reilly a few times, and his use caused the word to spike in the daily list of words that are looked up online.

    m00t

  • Until I see you even once denounce the shrieky eliminationism that is the stock-in-trade of your political coreligionists -- some examples are compiled here, and there are several more recent ones -- I, for one, can do without your Pecksniffian faux-outrage about a throwaway and self-contradictory Twitter comment.

    Archive 2009-04-01

  • Pecksniffian pretentious pugnacious quixotic sardoodledom sputum subpoena vanity sizing w00t

    Pretentious Pecksniffian Cruft

  • Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Pretentious Pecksniffian Cruft:

    Pretentious Pecksniffian Cruft

  • The only good word of the lot is Pecksniffian, though why it's on a list of words for 2007, and not 1857, is beyond me.

    m00t

  • One could, then, by the same token say that Pecksniffian politicians think that their success in one area -- politics -- confers on them authority in all areas, most notably, in this connection, the immorality of Hollywood and the effrontery of its denizens in thinking that they can tell politicians what to think!

    Back to basics ...

  • My insistence on my own freedom to choose has led to expulsion from one blogsite, hysterical comments about Zyklon-B, and a Pecksniffian reference to the anniversary of 9/11 versus that of the Montreal Massacre.

    Archive 2008-09-01

  • And it's this kind of thing that makes me want to see him win the nomination so he can make that Pecksniffian twit Peggy Noonan choke on her Pinot Grigio when he throws a hard, high fastball right between John McCain or Mitt Romney's eyes.

    Hullabaloo

  • This hostility toward mixed-age marriages is nothing more than Pecksniffian cases of envy, jealousy, fear and avarice.

    The Hypocrisy of Monogamy: Divorce and Adultery Versus Polygamy

  • I think Runge should share the blame and whether or not the entire thing was a case of Pecksniffian, Judgmentalism or a trap, racially motivated mean spirited, vengeance, or merely a case of stupidity, I do not know.

    Is It Bush's Fault That Racists In Baseball Are Flooding Politics In America, Or Is It Visa Versa?

Comments

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