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 This isn't about paying lip service or adding a few glitzy words to the website. Sahar Andrade, Forbes, 27 Sep. 2021 Donald Trump insulted Trumka verbally, but Democratic presidents insulted him silently by extending little more than lip service. Jason Linkins, The New Republic, 7 Aug. 2021 But the companies say the goals are much more than lip service. Fortune, 22 June 2021 It’s part of a long tradition of companies paying lip service to the idea of diversity and inclusion, but failing to take concrete steps to address the systemic issues within their own businesses. Jonathan Vanian, Fortune, 17 Dec. 2021 Some observers warn that many militia leaders may be paying lip service to the West – running on the ballot while readying their bullets for if and when the electoral process breaks down. Taylor Luck, The Christian Science Monitor, 30 Nov. 2021 Candidates may give lip service to racial justice while supporting a standard of less-transformational change favored by donors, and activists should be wary, Love said. Pamela Wood,, 7 Nov. 2021 It’s time for those watch brands that are merely paying lip service to digital retail, or shamefully not engaging at all, to grab a fork. Laura Mccreddie-doak, Wired, 26 Nov. 2021 In Washington, where decorum and civility are still given lip service, violent or threatening language still remains uncommon, if not unheard-of, among lawmakers who spend a great deal of time in the same building. New York Times, 12 Nov. 2021

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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Time Traveler for lip service

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The first known use of lip service was in 1590

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Dictionary Entries Near lip service

lip server

lip service


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Last Updated

18 Jan 2022

Cite this Entry

“Lip service.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 19 Jan. 2022.

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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


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