cleanliness is next to godliness

Cultural Dictionary

Cleanliness is next to godliness definition


Cleanliness is a great virtue.

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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American Heritage
Idioms & Phrases

cleanliness is next to godliness

Being clean is a sign of spiritual purity or goodness, as in Don't forget to wash your earscleanliness is next to godliness. This phrase was first recorded in a sermon by John Wesley in 1778, but the idea is ancient, found in Babylonian and Hebrew religious tracts. It is still invoked, often as an admonition to wash or clean up.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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