Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

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

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun Piety; devoutness; scrupulous austerity; sanctity.
  • noun The external appearance of devoutness; labored show of goodness; affected or hypocritical devoutness.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun Holiness; devoutness; scrupulous austerity; sanctity; especially, outward or artificial saintliness; assumed or pretended holiness; hypocritical devoutness.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun A hypocritical form of excessive piety, considered to be an affectation merely for public show.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun the quality of being hypocritically devout

Etymologies

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

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

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Latin sānctimōnia ("sanctity, sacredness; purity, chastity"), from sanctus ("holy") + -monia ("action or result of an action").

Examples

  • But with any luck, it will be a eye-feast of hundreds of thousands of good-humored, well-behaved Americans, there to answer the cynicism of Glenn Beck's "Restoring Honor" rally, at which the notion that the election of a black president somehow sullied the nation's dignity was dressed in sanctimony and a display of patriotism so bombastic that it was almost camp.

    Adele Stan: 4 Reasons Why Jon Stewart's Rally to Restore Sanity Is Great for Progressives

  • But with any luck, it will be a eye-feast of hundreds of thousands of good-humored, well-behaved Americans, there to answer the cynicism of Glenn Beck's "Restoring Honor" rally, at which the notion that the election of a black president somehow sullied the nation's dignity was dressed in sanctimony and a display of patriotism so bombastic that it was almost camp.

    Adele Stan: 4 Reasons Why Jon Stewart's Rally to Restore Sanity Is Great for Progressives

  • But with any luck, it will be a eye-feast of hundreds of thousands of good-humored, well-behaved Americans, there to answer the cynicism of Glenn Beck's "Restoring Honor" rally, at which the notion that the election of a black president somehow sullied the nation's dignity was dressed in sanctimony and a display of patriotism so bombastic that it was almost camp.

    Adele Stan: 4 Reasons Why Jon Stewart's Rally to Restore Sanity Is Great for Progressives

  • Question: Is there any chance — any chance — the Times would not release the tape and publish front-page story after story about the gory details, with the usual accompanying chorus of sanctimony from the oped commentariat?

    Archive 2008-10-01

  • Smug sanctimony is an interesting disease as those infected usually believe they speak for everyone else and are objective observers.

    EXCLUSIVE: LOAN TORY CHOOSES THIS BLOG TO GO PUBLIC

  • The poll does ask some loaded questions, but I believe an alarming level of sanctimony is implicit in those answers (Is the US more divided by class than Europe, I think not … are our racial tensions more acute, not even close).

    Think Progress » The task of winning hearts and minds

  • Both the book itself and its reception (as recorded on Amazon. com) expose the sort of pleasure it promotes: that of solidarity in sanctimony.

    Archive 2007-10-01

  • Both the book itself and its reception (as recorded on Amazon. com) expose the sort of pleasure it promotes: that of solidarity in sanctimony.

    The censures of the carping world

  • Behind the sanctimony is a cliché: McDonald's medicine.

    TIME.com: Top Stories

  • Behind the sanctimony is a cliché: McDonald's medicine.

    TIME.com: Top Stories

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