lip service


Definition of lip service

: an avowal of advocacy, adherence, or allegiance expressed in words but not backed by deeds usually used with pay

Examples of lip service in a Sentence

She paid lip service to blue-collar workers, but she did nothing to help them. So far all we've gotten from him is lip service.

Recent Examples on the Web

Remember, not so long ago, Democrats at least gave lip service to our basic right to border enforcement. Fox News, "Ingraham: The defenders of lawlessness," 2 Aug. 2018 And yet, this crisis has functioned as a sidenote in the national political conversation and in recent presidential campaigns—plopped into speeches and paid haphazard lip service to without any meaningful action. Michelle Ruiz, Vogue, "This Is Why We Need Women Running for President," 19 Feb. 2019 One thing that's for sure is that Epstein and Else's departures signal that there's a bigger institutional issue at hand, and lip service from the NFLPA will not cut it., "What Is The NFL Players Association Really Doing To Prevent Domestic Violence?," 18 June 2018 Even so, some educators say many schools in the city and nationwide just pay lip service to the importance of daily phonics lessons in early grades, or don’t know how to instill the basics. Leslie Brody, WSJ, "Schools Seen as Falling Short in a Pillar of Teaching Reading," 26 Dec. 2018 Even some sprinkled-in feminist mantras felt like lip service, and weren’t enough to make the final bow stand out from any other season. Alexis Jones, Marie Claire, "'House of Cards' Season 6, Surprisingly, Still Needs More Claire," 6 Nov. 2018 Of all the concealers out there that get the most lip service, many of the iconic classics are a bit hard on the wallet (looking at you, Clé De Peau, you radiant and expensive goddess, you). Allure, "The Best Concealers Under $20," 18 Oct. 2018 By opposing funding for deploying troops to the border, Rep. Ruppersberger boldly goes where every Democrat has gone before—paying lip service to our troops while keeping our borders porous. WSJ, "Democrats’ Stealthy Push for Open Borders," 20 Nov. 2018 The Los Angeles label wasn't just paying lip service to a spirit of art punk–meets–wild child; the message was legible right on models' mouths, where the makeup artist Kanako Takase was creating her own freeform painting study. Laura Regensdorf, Vogue, "These Marbleized Lips at Eckhaus Latta Are About to Become an Art-Punk Beauty Obsession," 8 Sep. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'lip service.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of lip service

1590, in the meaning defined above

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Statistics for lip service

Last Updated

19 Mar 2019

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Time Traveler for lip service

The first known use of lip service was in 1590

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More Definitions for lip service

lip service


English Language Learners Definition of lip service

: support for someone or something that is expressed by someone in words but that is not shown in that person's actions

More from Merriam-Webster on lip service

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with lip service

Comments on lip service

What made you want to look up lip service? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to reflect, repel, echo, or resound

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