What Is Another Way to Say “Holier Than Thou”?

Looking for synonyms for holier than thou? We’ve got you covered!

Here’s a list of other ways to say holier than thou.

  • Sanctimonious
  • Self-righteous
  • Pharisaical
  • Hypocritical
  • Pious
  • Moralizing
  • Priggish
  • Smug
  • Supercilious
  • Pretentious
  • Piety-acting
  • Goody-goody
  • High-and-mighty
  • Judgmental
  • Pompous

Want to learn how to say holier than thou professionally? Keep reading for examples and use cases.

1. Sanctimonious

Appropriate for describing someone who acts as if they are morally superior to other people.

  • Example: “His sanctimonious remarks on company ethics did not align with his actions.”

2. Self-righteous

Used for someone who is sure they are right and morally superior.

  • Example: “Her self-righteous attitude in the board meeting alienated her colleagues.”

3. Pharisaical

Refers to someone who is self-righteously or hypocritically pious.

  • Example: “His pharisaical comments during the charity event seemed insincere.”

4. Hypocritical

Suitable for someone who pretends to have virtues, moral or religious beliefs, etc., that they do not actually possess.

  • Example: “His hypocritical stance on environmental issues contradicted his company’s practices.”

5. Pious

Used to describe someone who is devoutly religious, which can sometimes imply hypocrisy.

  • Example: “Her pious demeanor at the community service events was at odds with her usual behavior.”

6. Moralizing

Refers to someone who comments on issues in terms of right and wrong, especially in a self-righteous or tiresome way.

  • Example: “The manager’s moralizing tone when discussing office policies was off-putting to the staff.”

7. Priggish

Appropriate for someone who is self-consciously and irritatingly proper, virtuous, or moral.

  • Example: “His priggish attitude about time management annoyed his more flexible coworkers.”

8. Smug

Used for someone who shows excessive satisfaction or pride in themselves.

  • Example: “Her smug response to the team’s concerns reflected a lack of empathy.”

9. Supercilious

Suitable for someone behaving or looking as though they think they are superior to others.

  • Example: “His supercilious manner during negotiations was not well-received.”

10. Pretentious

Refers to someone who attempts to impress by affecting greater importance or merit than is actually possessed.

  • Example: “The consultant’s pretentious jargon did little to clarify the project goals.”

11. Piety-acting

Used to describe someone who acts pious in an exaggerated way.

  • Example: “His piety-acting during charitable events does not match his usual indifference to social causes.”

12. Goody-goody

Appropriate for someone who behaves in an ostentatiously virtuous way.

  • Example: “The goody-goody attitude he adopted in front of the boss disappeared in other settings.”

13. High-and-mighty

Used for someone who is arrogant or haughtily patronizing.

  • Example: “Her high-and-mighty approach to team management created a disconnect with her employees.”

14. Judgmental

Refers to someone who is overly critical and quick to make judgments.

  • Example: “His judgmental comments about the marketing strategy were not constructive.”

15. Pompous

Suitable for someone who is affectedly and irritatingly grand, solemn, or self-important.

  • Example: “The director’s pompous speech did little to motivate the staff.”

Linda Brown