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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References in periodicals archive ?
Their guidelines, however, while paying lip service to canon law, served chiefly to reassert the right of individual bishops to govern preaching in their dioceses.
So instead of just paying lip service to a pipe dream, let us see what is actually being proposed - and don't just say the money saved would provide the jobs because we all know that is not what would happen.
Now instead of merely paying lip service, the Dalai Lama should ensure that the reign of Buddhist terror ends in Myanmar and elsewhere.
In a world where celebrities are raiding African orphanages for trophy kids or paying lip service to political and religious causes, how refreshing to see a young actress make a real difference..
We must hope that Royal Mail territory director Steve Cameron is not merely paying lip service to Liverpool.
"Every year, while paying lip service to the cause of a nuclear-free world, the nuclear powers have ignored those pleas.
Merely paying lip service to recycling is just not enough.
THE Government was yesterday slammed for paying lip service to human rights.
Yet, despite the Welsh Language Act and the Assembly Government's grossly misnamed scheme Iaith Pawb (everyone's language) paying lip service to the equality of the two languages in Wales, it is still, I fear, a case where both languages are equal but one language is more equal than the other.
While paying lip service to disarmament proposals, Pyongyang is expanding its army and stepping up a "military-first" policy in a country of but 22 million, maintaining the fifth-largest armed forces in the world.
THE Olympic Torch Relay has degenerated into a glorified circus paying lip service to all the public outside London in an effort to engage those who see the Olympics as a London event.
Let us all hope Gordon Brown actually stamps his authority on global sporting politics rather than merely paying lip service to it with a frozen politician's smile.