[ self-rahy-chuhs, self- ]
See synonyms for self-righteous on
  1. confident of one's own righteousness, especially when smugly moralistic and intolerant of the opinions and behavior of others.

Origin of self-righteous

First recorded in 1670–80

Other words for self-righteous

Other words from self-righteous

  • self-right·eous·ly, adverb
  • self-right·eous·ness, noun
  • unself-righteous, adjective
  • un·self-right·eous·ly, adverb
  • un·self-right·eous·ness, noun

Words Nearby self-righteous Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use self-righteous in a sentence

  • Dear sir, I made a square bet with myself that there were nineteen debauchable men in your self-righteous community.

  • Adams' remark had the effect of taking the sails out of Ben West's self-righteous spirit, and he said nothing more.

    A California Girl | Edward Eldridge
  • The Gospel of the free forgiveness of sins through Christ will never appeal to the self-righteous.

  • Bruce could not accuse himself of being self-righteous, because he truly acknowledged himself to be a sinner before his God.

    The Haunted Room | A. L. O. E.
  • But beware of your peculiar danger, which is self-righteous pride, worldliness, and the evil heart of unbelief.

British Dictionary definitions for self-righteous


  1. having or showing an exaggerated awareness of one's own virtuousness or rights

Derived forms of self-righteous

  • self-righteously, adverb
  • self-righteousness, 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