sanc·​ti·​mo·​ny ˈsaŋ(k)-tə-ˌmō-nē How to pronounce sanctimony (audio)
plural sanctimonies
obsolete : holiness
: affected or hypocritical holiness

Examples of sanctimony in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web By keeping concentration-camp obscenity off-screen, while referring to it obliquely through sci-fi sound effects and abstract visual metaphors, Glazer invites a new, smart-aleck sanctimony. Armond White, National Review, 20 Mar. 2024 This breeds a funny mix of pugilism and sanctimony that can be, frankly, a little unlikable. Clare Malone, The New Yorker, 10 Feb. 2024 The theory is that awards show viewers are there for the frocks and starry frivolity, not sanctimony and hectoring. Steven Gaydos, Variety, 27 Feb. 2024 The sanctimony that Brown sniffs at certainly exists, but a little bit of the holy spirit is probably necessary to report on contemporary America. Clare Malone, The New Yorker, 10 Feb. 2024 The humility inherent in this approach, which echoes David’s own self-deprecating performance, is hard to come by these days, when popular stand-ups from Chappelle to Amy Schumer traffic in sociopolitical sanctimony and position themselves as experts on experiences not their own. TIME, 2 Feb. 2024 Meanwhile, both settlements and legal anachronisms seemed to have been made permanent by the prime minister Golda Meir’s reliable sanctimony. Jordan Castro, Harper's Magazine, 9 Jan. 2024 With her chin tucked and her lips pursed in practiced sanctimony, Chavez-Richmond nails both Ephraim’s absurdity and his sad, competitive loneliness. Sara Holdren, Vulture, 22 Sep. 2023 In response, the boy’s mother smacks the white woman, whose sanctimony quickly turns to shock. Rebecca Keegan, The Hollywood Reporter, 3 Sep. 2023

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'sanctimony.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Middle French sanctimonie, from Latin sanctimonia, from sanctus

First Known Use

1534, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of sanctimony was in 1534

Dictionary Entries Near sanctimony

Cite this Entry

“Sanctimony.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 21 May. 2024.

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