sanc·​ti·​mo·​ny | \ ˈsaŋ(k)-tə-ˌmō-nē How to pronounce sanctimony (audio) \
plural sanctimonies

Definition of sanctimony

1 obsolete : holiness
2 : affected or hypocritical holiness

Examples of sanctimony in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

His description of a political party hollowed out by corruption, sanctimony and faux patriotism, determined to impoverish the working class in order to enrich its rich patrons, was as prescient a description of today’s GOP as a soothsayer’s. Michael Hiltzik,, "In Britain, will Trump absorb his hero Winston Churchill’s hatred of tariffs?," 3 June 2019 These episodes are unsavory occasions for voyeurism, and an apology adds nothing except a warm tingle of sanctimony for those who chase the adulterers with torches and pitchforks. Marcia Desanctis, Town & Country, "Mark Sanford, Act II," 14 Feb. 2013 But Gem’s tasting-menu format, with its sombre, methodical coursing, can feel refined to the point of sanctimony. Rachel Aviv, The New Yorker, "A Nineteen-Year-Old Chef Masters the Rules of Fine Dining," 12 Apr. 2018 The rapid team collapse was head-spinning news not only in Australia but also among worldwide fans of cricket, a sport that arrogates to itself a particular moral sanctimony. Damien Cave And Rick Gladstone, New York Times, "Cricket Hero Breaks Down in Tears on TV Over Cheating," 29 Mar. 2018 True believers like Comey are crucial to honest institutions, and sanctimony is a small price to pay for this. T.a. Frank, The Hive, "A Note to Woke Washington: The Bush Administration Was So Much Worse," 4 May 2018 The era of sanctimony has, in the past few years, given way to a dawning skepticism. Rachel Aviv, The New Yorker, "Cambridge Analytica and a Moral Reckoning in Silicon Valley," 21 Mar. 2018 There are laughs, but the prevalent tone is one of discreet compassion, without condescension or sanctimony. Patrick Friel, Chicago Reader, "Film Five must-see heist films," 29 Jan. 2018 Further, the play is all too successful in replicating the sententiousness and sanctimony of recovery jargon, at least as overheard by an outsider. Jesse Green, New York Times, "Review: The Horror Show of Rehab in ‘People, Places & Things’," 25 Oct. 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'sanctimony.' 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 sanctimony

1534, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for sanctimony

Middle French sanctimonie, from Latin sanctimonia, from sanctus

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Last Updated

21 Jun 2019

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The first known use of sanctimony was in 1534

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