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

Callous disregard for the will of the people, ongoing lip service to reform advocates, perpetual aversion to transformative change, and institutional unwillingness to act in any interest other than its own. John Baer,, "Two Pa. House and Senate leaders (sorta) defend our lackluster legislature | John Baer," 1 July 2018 And Democrats, cowed by years of anti-debt, tax-and-spend messaging, pay regular lip service to debt reduction. Sarah Jones, The New Republic, "Howard Schultz’s Third Way," 6 June 2018 The danger is that Deutsche just staggers on, cloaked in patriotism and paying only lip service to making an adequate ROE. The Economist, "Should one of the world’s largest banks be wound down?," 19 Apr. 2018 That contrast serves to undercut the lip service to feminism done by the script. Josephine Livingstone, The New Republic, "In Ocean’s 8, Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend," 12 June 2018 Offering a security feature that is a pain to implement allows Facebook to give lip service to protecting users without actually giving up much. Karla Peterson,, "Why Facebook's new features aren't the upgrade we need," 2 May 2018 Labels and people in positions of power pay lip service to supporting LGBTQ artists. Henry Youtt, Billboard, "Years & Years' Olly Alexander Talks 'Casual Homophobia' in The Music Industry: It 'Exists in the Fabric of Everything'," 10 July 2018 Until then, leagues and teams will pay lip service and pass down arbitrary suspensions and shake their heads gravely and announce committees that will disband when no one’s paying attention five years later. Will Leitch, Daily Intelligencer, "The Sports World Needs Its #MeToo Moment," 27 June 2018 By choosing all white men to speak on behalf of the entire country, the Trump administration is once again reaffirming its commitment to white, male supremacy (while paying only the faintest of lip service to women's empowerment)., "All 34 Official Nods For Brett Kavanaugh Were By Men. Here's What 34 Women Think.," 10 July 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

12 Nov 2018

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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

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