pay lip service

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pay lip service

To give a false or insincere declaration that one supposedly values, supports, respects, or believes in something. Fighting homelessness was touted as his primary agenda during his campaign, but so far it looks like he was only paying lip service. I'm tired of politicians who do nothing but pay lip service to the major issues affecting our country.
See also: lip, pay, service
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

pay lip service (to something)

Fig. to express loyalty, respect, or support for something insincerely. You don't really care about politics. You're just paying lip service to the candidate. Don't sit here and pay lip service. Get busy!
See also: lip, pay, service
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

lip service, to give/pay

An insincere expression of friendship, devotion, or support. Both the Old and New Testaments contain references to honoring God or Jesus only with one’s lips (Isaiah 29:13; Matthew 15:8). The religious association is maintained in an early English reference, “Pleasing themselves in their lip-service in bearing a part in it,” in the 1644 Directory for the Publique Worship Throughout the Three Kingdoms of England, Scotland, and Ireland.
See also: give, lip, pay, to
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer
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