[sangk-tuh-moh-nee-uh s]


making a hypocritical show of religious devotion, piety, righteousness, etc.: They resented his sanctimonious comments on immorality in America.
Obsolete. holy; sacred.

Origin of sanctimonious

First recorded in 1595–1605; sanctimony + -ous
Related formssanc·ti·mo·ni·ous·ly, adverbsanc·ti·mo·ni·ous·ness, nounnon·sanc·ti·mo·ni·ous, adjectivenon·sanc·ti·mo·ni·ous·ly, adverbnon·sanc·ti·mo·ni·ous·ness, nounun·sanc·ti·mo·ni·ous, adjectiveun·sanc·ti·mo·ni·ous·ly, adverbun·sanc·ti·mo·ni·ous·ness, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for sanctimoniousness

Contemporary Examples of sanctimoniousness

Historical Examples of sanctimoniousness

  • He has a sharp round face which has not been spoiled by sanctimoniousness.

  • I feel sure we generally miss the force of these words through our Caucasian sanctimoniousness.

  • Thus the novel fires many a sanctimoniousness, makes lurid many a hesitating life.

  • Tall and lean, immaculate and trim, he exhales an atmosphere of sanctimoniousness.

  • Last week three of his 'prentices bolted because they could not stand his sanctimoniousness any longer.

    The Day of Wrath

    Maurus Jkai

British Dictionary definitions for sanctimoniousness



affecting piety or making a display of holiness
Derived Formssanctimoniously, adverbsanctimoniousness, nounsanctimony, noun

Word Origin for sanctimonious

C17: from Latin sanctimonia sanctity, from sanctus holy
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 sanctimoniousness



c.1600 (in "Measure for Measure," with the disparaging sense "making a show of sanctity, affecting an appearance of holiness"), from sanctimony + -ous. The un-ironic, literal sense was used occasionally in English from c.1600 to c.1800. Related: Sanctimoniously; sanctimoniousness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper