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 decision, just twenty years after the Holocaust, to portray Jews in all their human variety, without sanctimony or hesitation, proved gravely offensive to many. David Remnick, The New Yorker, "The Secrets Philip Roth Didn’t Keep," 22 Mar. 2021 The sanctimony could perhaps be forgiven if the statement was at least true. Seth Mandel, Washington Examiner, "Biden's education abdication," 11 Feb. 2021 This passive-aggressive sanctimony has become the driving force of crusading filmmakers such as Zhao. Armond White, National Review, "Nomadland Transforms America into Alienation Nation," 15 Jan. 2021 Dabo Swinney would do well to keep his sanctimony, and his medical opinions, to himself. Nancy Armour, USA TODAY, "Opinion: Dabo Swinney's criticism of Florida State not only wrong, it's reckless," 23 Nov. 2020 You were taught that in school, and it was written in textbooks, the sanctimony of the free market, the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, which referred and still refers to Indians as merciless savages. New York Times, "PAoLO giordano," 8 July 2020 This sanctimony might be easier to swallow if Lewis weren’t on record supporting all of the voter empowerment measures Merrill opposes, especially automatic registration. Kyle Whitmire, al, "The John Merrill Show is on again. Somebody change the channel.," 22 Apr. 2020 Neither of those dishes comes with a hint of sanctimony, or even of prescription; in fact, the menu suggests adding crispy (real) chicken to the salad. Hannah Goldfield, The New Yorker, "Golden Diner Updates the Greasy-Spoon Tradition," 19 Oct. 2019 The sanctimony here over players being able to profit is suffocating., "California’s Fair Pay to Play Act was signed into law," 20 Oct. 2019

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about sanctimony

Time Traveler for sanctimony

Time Traveler

The first known use of sanctimony was in 1534

See more words from the same year

Statistics for sanctimony

Last Updated

27 Mar 2021

Cite this Entry

“Sanctimony.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 14 May. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More from Merriam-Webster on sanctimony

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for sanctimony

Comments on sanctimony

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


Test Your Vocabulary

Words Used by Nabokov Quiz

  • image1676440788
  • Choose the best definition or synonym for the word in bold: "There are some eructations that sound like cheers—at least, mine did." Lolita
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

 AlphaBear 2

Spell words. Make bears.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!