saint·​ly | \ ˈsānt-lē How to pronounce saintly (audio) \
saintlier; saintliest

Definition of saintly

: relating to, resembling, or befitting a saint : holy

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Other Words from saintly

saintliness noun

Examples of saintly in a Sentence

a saintly man who devoted his life to caring for the dying

Recent Examples on the Web

The role could have easily tipped into saintly reverence, something Heller and Hanks were urged to avoid by Rogers’ wife, Joanna Rogers. Washington Post, "Would you be mine? Hanks unveils his Mr. Rogers at festival," 10 Sep. 2019 All this might make the movie sound like an unusually zany albeit topical riff on the holy-fool narrative, the tale of a beatific soul who is too stupid and too saintly for this world. Justin Chang,, "Review: ‘Diamantino’ is an inspired blast of lunacy, with giant puppies," 26 June 2019 The saintly glow of the fruit is indistinguishable from the one on the face of Zurbarán’s St. Francis on the painting next to this, or rather to that on the skull to which the saint kneels. Jonathan Gold, Los Angeles Times, "The oranges that enraptured a millionaire," 18 July 2019 Brodesser-Akner is a master of zeitgeisty pith and Toby, while occasionally too saintly for realism’s sake, is a delightful mensch. Vogue, "10 New Books to Read This Summer," 31 May 2019 Madonna sings through a vocoder as Blanco thrashes around a circle of judges, newly dressed in saintly garb. Stephen Daw, Billboard, "Mykki Blanco Explains 'Surreal' Experience of Working With Madonna on 'Dark Ballet' Video," 7 June 2019 Thanks to the size and cultural power of the Irish diaspora, these annual rituals have transformed Patrick into a saintly superstar of global significance. ... Terry Golway, WSJ, "‘Saint Patrick Retold’ Review: The Patron Saint of Ireland," 14 Mar. 2019 Inside, however, visitors find themselves in a different world: Narga Selassie’s walls are covered with religious paintings illustrating Old and New Testament stories and a few saintly narratives. Judith H. Dobrzynski, WSJ, "A True Island Sanctuary," 8 Feb. 2019 After midnight Mass at a nearby church that holds the saintly relics of an ancestor, the family will return home for panettone and a glass of fine Marsala wine. J.s. Marcus, WSJ, "Luxury Homeowners Discover the Delight of Sicily Living," 20 Dec. 2018

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.

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First Known Use of saintly

1534, in the meaning defined above

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Statistics for saintly

Last Updated

19 Sep 2019

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Time Traveler for saintly

The first known use of saintly was in 1534

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More Definitions for saintly



English Language Learners Definition of saintly

: like a saint : very good and kind


saint·​ly | \ ˈsānt-lē How to pronounce saintly (audio) \

Kids Definition of saintly

: like a saint or like that of a saint a saintly deed

Other Words from saintly

saintliness noun

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More from Merriam-Webster on saintly

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with saintly

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for saintly

Spanish Central: Translation of saintly

Nglish: Translation of saintly for Spanish Speakers

Comments on saintly

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


formidable, illustrious, or eminent

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