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.
See also: lip, pay, service

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 ?
French website "Therese Zrihen" slammed Qatar's stubbornness in supporting terrorist organizations, claiming that it has been double-dealing in the Middle East for decades, as it destabilizes its neighbors while paying lip service to Gulf Arab unity.
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.
BBC1's Coral advertorial Britain At The Bookies IT'S TERMINAL: At bookies paying lip service to the dangers of fixed-odds betting terminals.
He asked Imran Khan to stop making tall claims of capturing Punjab as he could do nothing except paying lip service to people of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
Regional secretary of Unite Jimmy Kelly said yesterday: "Again and again we hear ministers and departments paying lip service to the right of union members to vote, before then trampling on the process with misleading statements on pay and the reductions required.
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.
The Welsh Assembly will go on paying lip service to green energy while perfectly good schemes don't come to fruition because of the dithering of the planning authorities.
But former prisoner Bobby Cummines said : "If prisoners are excluded from voting then we don't have a democratic society, we are just paying lip service to one.
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.
But green campaigners accused councils of paying lip service to the importance of environmental policies without carrying them out.
They must demonstrate that they are not just paying lip service to the criticisms in the report, but have truly taken them on board.
Investors in People said its study showed some employers were paying lip service to the health of their staff.
Too many think it means throwing money at marketing fads or paying lip service to "out-of-the-box" thinking.
So was he merely paying lip service to the notion of a force with more gays and lesbians on it?