[ far-uh-see ]
/ ˈfær əˌsi /
a member of a Jewish sect that flourished during the 1st century b.c. and 1st century a.d. and that differed from the Sadducees chiefly in its strict observance of religious ceremonies and practices, adherence to oral laws and traditions, and belief in an afterlife and the coming of a Messiah.
(lowercase) a sanctimonious, self-righteous, or hypocritical person.
Origin of Pharisee
before 900; Middle English Pharise, Farise, Old English Farīsēus < Late Latin Pharīsēus, variant of Pharīsaeus < Greek Pharīsaîos < Aramaic pərīshayyā, plural of pərīshā literally, separated
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019
British Dictionary definitions for pharisee
/ (ˈfærɪˌsiː) /
Judaism a member of an ancient Jewish sect that was opposed to the Sadducees, teaching strict observance of Jewish tradition as interpreted rabbinically and believing in life after death and in the coming of the Messiah
(often not capital) a self-righteous or hypocritical person
Word Origin for Pharisee
Old English Farīsēus, ultimately from Aramaic perīshāiyā, pl of perīsh separated
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