holier than thou


Also found in: Acronyms.

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

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

Sanctimonious, pretending moral superiority. This term comes from the Bible (Isaiah 65:5), where the prophet, speaking of sinners, holds that they say “Come not near me, for I am holier than thou.” The term is often used as an adjective (and hyphenated: holier-than-thou) as in Sinclair Lewis’s novel Babbitt (1922), “But I don’t want you to think you can get away with any of that holier-than-thou stuff.”
See also: holy, thou
References in periodicals archive ?
Holier Than Thou feels very much like a young adult novel it not only examines what it means to move from being a teen to an adult, but also has themes of love, friendship and loss, all very relevant in the YA genre.
Earlier, Conservative cochairman Dr Liam Fox claimed that Mr Blair's 'holier than thou' image was being exposed as a facade by his party's willingness to practice dirty tricks.
And to think we become all holier than thou when players produce their handbags and rip a ladder in each other's tights ...
"Holier than Thou" stands near the Washburn student union.
To state that the show is ``trailer trash for a trailer trash audience'' only reflects upon his holier than thou attitude that, from time to time, is to be felt in his articles.
Feeling holier than thou (my nan always said that cleanliness is next to godliness) I went shopping but on my return found that four of my best plates had fallen off the draining board and smashed on the floor.
From the opening jokes about leprosy to the grand finale featuring the refrain "I'm holier than thou" the show - needless to say American in origin - is a series of tasteless gags.
Environmental reporters have a sense of being holier than thou." Conservative critic Michael Fumento accused the crowd of practicing its own form of sensationalism, publishing "toxic terror" stories about dioxin and other issues marked by scientific uncertainties.
The Holier Than Thou studio in the city centre took minimum donations of PS40 ([euro]45) to the We Love Manchester Emergency Fund, but many paid up to PS100 ([euro]115).
The WRU is NOT supporting the regional game sufficiently and Mr Lewis in particular seems to have adopted a "holier than thou" attitude which does not allow any opinion other than his.
He accused Rennie of being "holier than thou" and claimed the Lib Dems were "the party which put the 'moan' into sanctimony".
Until it is, there would seem to be little point in adopting a 'holier than thou' attitude with regard to other transgressors.
You're not kidding anyone with your "holier than thou" attitude.
It's all very well for Benn to get all Holier Than Thou about our landfills but why does the onus always fall on cash-strapped householders?
I find it increasingly repulsive to listen to the holier than thou pontificating fromthe Manx, after all, evil dealers pedalling death and their anti-drugs campaign by highlighting the fact that 95% of their drugs come fromMerseyside.