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 Yet that’s exactly what the activists demanded, saying DeMarco and her fellow board members control all decision making and have been dismissing activists’ input and giving lip service to inclusion for years. Stephanie Ebbert,, "Boycott Boston Pride, say activists who bolted for social justice," 29 Dec. 2020 Some, like Barr and Pompeo, were longtime political insiders who waited for the chance to shed the need to even pay lip service to the ideals of a functioning democracy. Felipe De La Hoz, The New Republic, "Trump’s Most Vicious Cultists Aren’t Done With America," 18 Dec. 2020 The question is whether companies are just paying lip service to the idea of doing good. Verne Kopytoff, Fortune, "CEOs found their voice in a year of upheaval," 16 Dec. 2020 The approach by Orban so far has been to press ahead with his unravelling of democratic institutions while paying lip service to EU demands. Zoltan Simon,, "EU’s Eastern Rebels Play a $220 Billion Game of Chicken," 9 Dec. 2020 There’s the disconnect between his lip service to privacy and the way Facebook actually works. Adrienne Lafrance, The Atlantic, "Facebook Is a Doomsday Machine," 15 Dec. 2020 No doubt, Obama occasionally paid lip service to constitutional norms. John Loftus, National Review, "Obama’s Grotesque Self-Revisionism," 19 Nov. 2020 But now, more than a century later, even the pretense of equality before the law receives little more than lip service. Jed S. Rakoff, The New York Review of Books, "Getting Away With Murder," 17 Nov. 2020 As people who make hiring decisions feel the pressure to move beyond merely a lip service commitment to equal opportunity. Ann Killion,, "Marlins’ new GM Kim Ng never gave up despite repeated setbacks," 16 Nov. 2020

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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Statistics for lip service

Last Updated

6 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Lip service.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 17 Jan. 2021.

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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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