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 Sometimes we would be joined by Himanshu’s father, M.D., an otherwise saintly and ephemeral presence, always tending flowers. Washington Post, "Isolating in a Himalayan hotel forced this restless traveler to rethink his ‘allergy to boredom’," 13 Aug. 2020 Au Hasard Balthazar is Bresson’s adaptation Dostoevsky’s The Idiot, with the donkey as the saintly Prince Myshkin. Ryan Ruby, The New York Review of Books, "Pierre Klossowski, Brilliant Brother of Balthus," 8 Aug. 2020 The bare-knuckles nature of that contest temporarily frayed their relationship -- they're shown conducting an awkward interview after the race -- displaying a tougher side to Lewis that offers some balance to his saintly image. Brian Lowry, CNN, "'John Lewis: Good Trouble' highlights the civil rights icon's remarkable life," 3 July 2020 No, not the evil Trump, but the saintly public sector CDC, the technocrats. Dominick Mastrangelo, Washington Examiner, "'Dr. Death and Destruction': Fox host calls for ousting of CDC director for 'bungling' coronavirus response," 18 May 2020 Scenes with his surrogate father and Klan leader (Tom Wilkinson, casually monstrous) have a naturalness that’s lacking in his interactions with the preacher, whose near-saintly generosity seems almost sacrificial. Jeannette Catsoulis, New York Times, "‘Burden’ Review: A White Supremacist’s Change of Heart," 27 Feb. 2020 And if so, what was wrong in wishing my saintly, gentle, favourite teacher a happy Valentine’s Day? Manavi Kapur, Quartz India, "On Valentine’s Day, the feminist, the lover, and the liberal in me go to war," 13 Feb. 2020 Indeed, as with Rial's encounter with the kids in the street, the film trips up viewer expectations by showing that the couple are not saintly martyrs, even if their suffering and hardship are all too real. Leslie Felperin, The Hollywood Reporter, "'His House': Film Review | Sundance 2020," 4 Feb. 2020 To them, ditching booze was a way to protect the sanctity of the saintly Protestant home. Kim Kelly, Teen Vogue, "Prohibition Was America’s First War on Drugs," 17 Jan. 2020

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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Time Traveler for saintly

Time Traveler

The first known use of saintly was in 1534

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Cite this Entry

“Saintly.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 Oct. 2020.

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More Definitions for saintly


How to pronounce saintly (audio)

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

More from Merriam-Webster on saintly

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for saintly

Nglish: Translation of saintly for Spanish Speakers

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