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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.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
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.
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012
holier than thoucharacterized 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’.
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017
mod. superior in piety; condescending. She has such a holier-than-thou attitude.
McGraw-Hill's Dictionary of American Slang and Colloquial Expressions Copyright © 2006 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.
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.”
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer