holier-than-thou


Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Legal, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.
Related to holier-than-thou: sanctimony, shalt

holier-than-thou

Sanctimonious; maintaining an obnoxious air of moral superiority or condescension. (Usually used before a noun, especially "attitude.") While he makes good points, his holier-than-thou attitude is not likely to win him many allies.

holier-than-thou

If you describe someone as holier-than-thou, you mean that they seem to believe that they have better moral qualities than anyone else. He has always sounded holier-than-thou. I'm not going to be all holier-than-thou about this.

holier than thou

characterized by an attitude of self-conscious virtue and piety.
This phrase comes from Isaiah 65:5: ‘Stand by thyself, come not near to me; for I am holier than thou’.
See also: holy, thou

holier-than-thou

mod. superior in piety; condescending. She has such a holier-than-thou attitude.
References in periodicals archive ?
Perhaps he, like a lot of other holier-than-thou folks, need to get their feet--and the rest of their selves--good and soaking wet in the real world, where it rains like hell sometimes, despite what "our mothers told us"?
I ask him where was his holier-than-thou liberal lip service letter to the Echo when Tali Hatuel, the 34-year-old Israeli woman, who was eight months pregnant, and her daughters, Hila, 11, Hadar, nine, Roni, seven and Merav, two, were shot at point blank range in a sickening execution last May?
Yet oddly this grinning nitwit was far more likeable than the holier-than-thou hypocrites from Millionaire-makers Celador.
1973's Living in' the Material World managed to top the charts even as it garnered mixed reviews for bland songs about the Beatles' breakup and holier-than-thou sermonettes about the fallen state of the world,
Vincent's holier-than-thou pontification about God's will in my life's journey smacks dangerously of Dr.
Its holier-than-thou authors asserted that the report was really about alleged perjury, obstruction of justice, and abuse of power, but they knew damn well that few, if any, readers would plow through its dry-as-dust legalisms.
First, they hold their annual convention in Salt Lake City in a snotty attempt to kick holier-than-thou sand in the Mormons' faces.
All three have written books urging the Democrats to be centrists, and all three have a holier-than-thou tenor in their words and demeanor.
Yet Kasher's moralizing exposes of Ludwig, Mies, and others, are tinged by just that sort of holier-than-thou attitude.
While Rush (see above left) is the real Oscar deal, this holier-than-thou Issue Movie is a by-numbers love letter to awards committees.
Cable, the holier-than-thou Lib Dem Business Secretary, is left looking as if he is blundering around looking for profit in any arms bazaar going.
From being seen as "racially motivated" and highlighting the numbers of "black" people (without identifying what or who "black" is) the racists and the liberals with their views on society's failures being to blame for letting these young people down and fostering their sense of alienation both seek to appear holier-than-thou.
I think that homophobic in itself the fact that they expected me to sit next to such people and engage with such people in the Parliament, while taking a holier-than-thou attitude to parties like the BNP (British National Party) in the UK," she said.
Those who knew of his early excesses resented his holier-than-thou rants.
I'm prepared to conceed that maybe ten per cent of Christians may well be the real deal, but the experienced fact for many non-churchgoers (but believers in a God nonetheless) is that the other 90 per cent are themselves false prophets, gassing on to all and sundry in aloof, holier-than-thou tones, supposing themselves to be privy to some special knowledge denied to the rest of us.