Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Acronyms, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.


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.

a thou

A slang term for one thousand. It is pronounced like the beginning of the word "thousand," not like the archaic pronoun "thou." I could make a thou on that job easily, and then we wouldn't have to worry about money for awhile.
See also: 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


mod. superior in piety; condescending. She has such a holier-than-thou attitude.

Take it down a thou(sand)!

in. Cool down!; Calm down!; Quiet down! You are wild! Take it down a thou and let’s try again to talk this out.
See also: down, take

Take it down a thou!

See also: down, take


n. one thousand. I managed to get a couple of thou from the bank, but I need a little more than that.
References in classic literature ?
Ascend, I follow thee, safe Guide, the path Thou lead'st me, and to the hand of Heav'n submit, However chast'ning, to the evil turne My obvious breast, arming to overcom By suffering, and earne rest from labour won, If so I may attain.
Death thou hast seen In his first shape on man; but many shapes Of Death, and many are the wayes that lead To his grim Cave, all dismal; yet to sense More terrible at th' entrance then within.
Perjure not thyself,'' said the Norman, interrupting him, ``and let not thine obstinacy seal thy doom, until thou hast seen and well considered the fate that awaits thee.
on that warm couch thou shalt lie, stripped of thy clothes as if thou wert to rest on a bed of down.
Say no more on that subject for thy life, Sancho," said Don Quixote, "for it is displeasing to me; I have already pardoned thee for that, and thou knowest the common saying, 'for a fresh sin a fresh penance.
Sancho hastened to his Dapple, and embracing him he said, "How hast thou fared, my blessing, Dapple of my eyes, my comrade?
Then, if thy Gods will, be assured that thou wilt come upon thy freedom.
Dost thou know who He is, then, that gives the order?
tis but a viper Whom thou hast cherished to sting thee to the soul
Thou must not -- nay indeed, indeed, shalt not Give away unto these humors.
Now a murrain seize thee and thy news, thou scurvy dog," quoth the Tinker, "for thou speakest but ill of good men.
But gin men be put in the stocks for drinking ale and beer, I trow thou wouldst not lose thy part.
Not I; thou art pressed: prepare thyself, or I will
Such thou, methinks, till now hast judged my words.
Let thy virtue be too high for the familiarity of names, and if thou must speak of it, be not ashamed to stammer about it.