give lip service to (something)

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give lip service to (something)

To give an insincere verbal expression of something, especially friendship, loyalty, respect, support, etc. The local council members give lip service each year to a renewed plan to tackle homelessness, but no one ever expects them to follow through.
See also: give, lip, service, to
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
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References in periodicals archive ?
Buttry was quick to call out newsrooms who gave lip service to digital but were really just "on the web" and not "of the web." Obvious signs, to him, included stories that did not link to other sources of information, stories that were published later than they should have been because of allegiance to print edition timetables or due to the constraints of print-driven staffing, and stories that fail to take advantage of the multimedia tools available on the web--from simple video and document embeds, to interactive data visualizations.
He politely gave lip service to Wynn, Pierce, and Shaw
Bush gave lip service to aspects of comprehensive reform, but that part of his message was, as usual, delivered with a mumbling lack of conviction.
She did it for the same reason Nikki Ziering gave lip service to Paul on Celebrity Love Island: To generate media coverage and keep in the game.
Speaking at a conference in Birmingham, Waqar Azmi, chief diversity adviser to the Cabinet Office, said many managers gave lip service to race equality but failed to deliver.
Republicans once dreamt of removing the federal government from the classroom, and President Reagan even gave lip service to the notion of abolishing the Federal Department of Education.
But, in the past, our elected representatives at least gave lip service to putting the people first.
Although the orphanages gave lip service to the federation's request, in 1949, they still housed white children almost exclusively.
Though the new, post-Gingrich GOP leadership gave lip service to a more pragmatic strategy in the aftermath of the election--and to eschewing social issues in favor of economic ones--it appears unlikely that religious conservatives, who still hold considerable sway in the party, will go along with such an arrangement.