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Definition of "sanctimonious" [sanc•ti•mo•ni•ous]

  • Feigning piety or righteousness: "a solemn, unsmiling, sanctimonious old iceberg that looked like he was waiting for a vacancy in the Trinity” ( Mark Twain). (adjective)

American Heritage(R) Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright (c) 2011 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Use "sanctimonious" in a sentence
  • "You refer to the sanctimonious speech by Obama in Cairo two years ago."
  • "Such criticism, though a bit sanctimonious, is reasonably well grounded: in the years since an ailing Yeltsin appointed him Russia's president, on December 31, 1999, Putin has in numerous ways tried to reassert Kremlin control over the country."
  • "The low point of self defeating activism came at a Radio City Music Hall fundraiser at which Chevy Chase said the president had the intellect of an "egg timer" John Mellencamp called Bush a "cheap thug" and Meryl Streep, in a performance that brings new meaning to the word sanctimonious, belittled the president's faith."