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[seynt-lee] /ˈseɪnt li/
adjective, saintlier, saintliest.
pertaining to, like, or befitting a saint:
saintly lives.
Origin of saintly
First recorded in 1650-60; saint + -ly
Related forms
saintliness, noun
hypersaintly, adjective
quasi-saintly, adjective
supersaintly, adjective
unsaintly, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for saintly
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Wilfrid also was one of the saintly architects of the period.

    English Villages P. H. Ditchfield
  • They penned me up here with these saintly mothers and these angelic children.

    City of Endless Night Milo Hastings
  • At the Tambov hermitage the anchorite Hilary, a man of saintly life, has died.

    Father Sergius Leo Tolstoy
  • She confided in me a little in those days, but ever with a most saintly resignation.

    The Strolling Saint Raphael Sabatini
  • "Indeed, none too saintly," said I, speaking my thoughts aloud.

    The Strolling Saint Raphael Sabatini
British Dictionary definitions for saintly


adjective -lier, -liest
like, relating to, or suitable for a saint
Derived Forms
saintlily, adverb
saintliness, noun
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for saintly

1620s, from saint (n.) + -ly (1). Related: Saintliness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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