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See more synonyms for saintly on Thesaurus.com
adjective, saint·li·er, saint·li·est.
  1. pertaining to, like, or befitting a saint: saintly lives.
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Origin of saintly

First recorded in 1650–60; saint + -ly
Related formssaint·li·ness, nounhy·per·saint·ly, adjectivequa·si-saint·ly, adjectivesu·per·saint·ly, adjectiveun·saint·ly, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words

angelic, upstanding, pious, beatific, blameless, blessed, devout, divine, God-fearing, godly, holy, pure, religious, sinless, upright, virtuous, worthy, sainted, seraph

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.

  • 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 or -liest
  1. like, relating to, or suitable for a saint
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Derived Formssaintlily, adverbsaintliness, 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

Word Origin and History for saintly


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

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper