- obnoxiously pious; sanctimonious; self-righteous.
- a person who is obnoxiously pious or self-righteous.
Origin of holier-than-thou
Related Words for holier-than-thouartificial, goody-goody, sanctimonious, smug, snobbish, unctuous, judgmental, pietistic, high-hat, simon-pure
Examples from the Web for holier-than-thou
Contemporary Examples of holier-than-thou
Herman likes to give the appearance of living this holier-than-thou life.Herman Cain's Marriage Shaken by Infidelity Charges
December 2, 2011
Unfortunately for Edwards, the holier-than-thou approach won her few fans.The Year in Talk: 2009's 19 Most Pivotal Moments
The Daily Beast Video
December 24, 2009
Historical Examples of holier-than-thou
I've watched the lot of you Cavendishes, with yer stuck-up 'holier-than-thou' ways.The Lone Ranger Rides
But I don't want you to think you can get away with any holier-than-thou stuff.
There's going to be one house in this scandal-mongering town to-night that isn't going to spring the holier-than-thou.
To one who goes to Spain in the holier-than-thou attitude, she is dumb and repellent,—she who can be so eloquent!
Happily the generations of cant and holier-than-thou are passing, and we are looking history more honestly in the face.
as an adjectival phrase in reference to supercilious sanctimony attested by 1888, American English. The text is in Isaiah lxv:5.