saint·​ly ˈsānt-lē How to pronounce saintly (audio)
saintlier; saintliest
: relating to, resembling, or befitting a saint : holy
saintliness noun

Example Sentences

a saintly man who devoted his life to caring for the dying
Recent Examples on the Web For the last 60 years, it’s been hard to see Joan Baez as anything other than a saintly figure, or certainly, at the least, a beatifically placid one. Chris Willman, Variety, 20 Feb. 2023 Some of these included fragments of bone or hair from apostles or other saintly figures, while others consisted of scraps of fabric from their clothing. Joanne M. Pierce, The Conversation, 4 May 2022 Montrellous, in contrast, is almost comically saintly. Margaret Gray, Los Angeles Times, 23 Nov. 2022 Williams is tasked with inhabiting the emotional arc of the film, investing a saintly mother figure with all the complexities and compromises of adult relationships. Vulture, 16 Sep. 2022 And the Hur movement of the late 19th century in Sindh was also mobilised by a saintly figure, Sibghtullah Shah Badshah. Razib Khan, Discover Magazine, 21 Mar. 2011 The sacrifice inherent to a lifetime of devotion to one’s family and home could serve as a corrective — a saintly refusal of oneself in favor of others. Rafaela Bassili, Vulture, 15 Sep. 2022 Few architects can be saintly and solvent at the same time; being in business requires some measure of complicity. Curbed, 17 Mar. 2022 This Surrealist look comes courtesy of Bronson van Wyck, who bucked tradition with a bloodred tree, a circus tent enclosure, and a saintly topper. Anna Fixsen, ELLE Decor, 14 Dec. 2022 See More

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

Word History

First Known Use

1534, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of saintly was in 1534

Dictionary Entries Near saintly

Cite this Entry

“Saintly.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 30 Mar. 2023.

Kids Definition


saint·​ly ˈsānt-lē How to pronounce saintly (audio)
saintlier; saintliest
: relating to, resembling, or proper for a saint : holy
saintliness noun

More from Merriam-Webster on saintly

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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