sanctimonious was our Word of the Day on 11/13/2006. Hear the podcast!
Recent Examples of sanctimonious from the Web
Grace Hemingway is often seen as domineering and emasculating; Ernest claimed to hate her for her sanctimonious condemnation of his early fiction, and blamed her for his father’s suicide.
In keeping with the car's brutal new persona, the replacement chip promises a much less sanctimonious attitude.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'sanctimonious'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
How Shakespeare Used Sanctimonious
There's nothing sacred about "sanctimonious"-at least not any more. But in the early 1600s, the English adjective was still sometimes used to describe someone truly holy or pious (a sense that recalls the meaning of the word's Latin parent, sanctimonia). Shakespeare used both the "holy" and "holier-than-thou" senses in his work, referring in The Tempest to the "sanctimonious" (that is, "holy") ceremonies of marriage, and in Measure for Measure to describe "the sanctimonious pirate that went to sea with the Ten Commandments but scraped one out of the table." (Apparently, the pirate found the restriction on stealing a bit too inconvenient.)
First Known Use of sanctimonious
SANCTIMONIOUS Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of sanctimonious for English Language Learners
: pretending to be morally better than other people
Seen and Heard
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