pay lip service to (something)

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pay lip service to (something)

To give an insincere verbal expression of something, especially friendship, loyalty, respect, support, etc. The local council members pay lip service each year to a renewed plan to tackle homelessness, but no one ever expects them to follow through.
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pay lip service to something

or

give lip service to something

COMMON If someone pays lip service or gives lip service to an idea, they say they are in favour of it, but do not do anything practical to support it. Nearly all Western manufacturers now pay lip service to these management techniques. Many chefs give lip service to the importance of fresh ingredients. Note: You can also just talk about lip service. All the talk about nation-building is pure lip service, because people who are selfish will never join with others to build the nation. Note: In this expression `service' means the same as respect. A contrast is being made here between what people say and what they really think, based on an idea expressed in various places in the Bible, including Matthew 15:8, `This people draweth nigh to me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips, but their heart is far from me'.
See also: lip, pay, service, something

pay lip service to something

express approval of or support for something without taking any significant action.
1998 New Scientist Green organisations are having great difficulty maintaining their membership, and politicians pay lip service to environmental problems.
See also: lip, pay, service, something

pay ˈlip-service to something

if a person pays lip-service to something, they pretend to support or agree with something, without proving their support by what they actually do: He doesn’t really believe in equal opportunities. He just pays lip-service to it because he doesn’t want to appear old-fashioned.
See also: pay, something
References in periodicals archive ?
The Charities Commission issues guidance on what constitutes public benefit and charities cannot therefore just pay lip service to this requirement.
Too often public consultations pay lip service to the views of people with organisations behind them really only interested in getting the outcome they want - the recent M4 Relief Road announcement is a perfect example of that.
We may pay lip service to being a Christian country.
What is shocking and deplorable is that governments have largely chosen to only pay lip service to the problem and those organisations putting legitimate tickets up for sale have not come up with a technological foolproof block to stop this multiple buying.
They will pay lip service to the fans but the fact remains that everything that happens on and off the pitch is down to commercial decisions.
Don''''t just pay lip service to buying British, it''''s up to the Government to ensure we support British.
Don''t just pay lip service to buying British, it''s up to the Government to ensure we support British.
The Government pay lip service to cutting down alcoholism.
Is it apathy on behalf of both parties or is it they only pay lip service to safety, unless, of course, an accident occurs and
Cheeky devils Brian Ormond and Martin King pay lip service to awards; IT'S A WRAP: Baiba at yesterday's launch of TV Now Awards TV at Krystle in Dublin; TV GLEE: Colette Fitzpatrick; CITY SLICKER: Orlaith Rafter; BLACK MAGIC: Linda Breathnach; Pictures: GARETH CHANEY/COLLINS
Most farmers pay lip service to animal welfare, the transport of live animals is a national disgrace, which the farming unions turn a blind eye to.
More people pay lip service to the importance of intellectual property (IP) than understand how to profit from innovative ideas.
When they finally dock significant points or throw a big-name club out of a competition, I'll believe they want to eradicate this poison and not just pay lip service to the problem to curry favour with politicians.
I also suspect it takes a healthy skepticism on the part of the vehicle team so it can pay lip service to the process while shaping the kind of car it knows the buyer wants, all the while making the "temperature takers" feel as though their contributions are invaluable.