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.

Usage Examples:

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)

Want to Learn More Words Like sanctimonious?
Discover How You Can Improve Your
Vocabulary 10 to 100 Times Faster with
the Power Vocabulary Builder

Dear Friend,

The definition and lessons for the word sanctimonious were made available by the Power Vocabulary Builder.

The Power Vocabulary Builder will help you develop a fuller, richer vocabulary 10 to 100 times faster than any other program available.

Visit the the Power Vocabulary Builder site right now to discover how you can get full access to this breakthrough program today!

What's your vocabulary level?
Power Vocabulary Builder
FREE E-mail Course!

Drop your details in the boxes below to receive a FREE vocabulary course: