V2 Vocabulary Building Dictionary
Definition: over-the-top pious and religious, to the point of appearing or sounding self-righteous and hypocritical
Synonyms: holier-than-thou, self-righteous, preachy, pious, smug, hypocritical, slick, phony, insincere, deceptive
Antonyms: sincere, humble
Tips: Think of the related words sanctity, "holiness or virtue" and sacred, "religious." Sanctimonious has come to have an ironic meaning of "hypocritical self-righteousness." The noun sanctimony refers to the quality of being hypocritical or self-righteous. The word ceremonious is similar to sanctimonious. As sanctimonious describes exaggerated holiness, to the point of self-righteousness, ceremonious describes exaggerated ceremonial formality, to the point of being absurd or obnoxious.
Her speech about the sanctity of marriage came across as sanctimonious to the young couple. (preachy, holier-than-thou)
His sanctimonious attitude made people think he was judgmental and that he felt superior to others. (overly pious, overly religious)
Because the man stooped to sanctimony, he lost his credibility in the argument. (self-righteousness, religious pretense) noun
Jane's sanctimonious attitude and constant preaching about the ills of alcohol, all while she ate nothing but junk food, were too much to bear. (holier-than-though, pious, smug)
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