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lip service

insincere expression of friendship, admiration, support, etc.; service by words only:
He paid only lip service to the dictator.
Origin of lip service
Related forms
lip server, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2016.
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Examples from the Web for lip-service
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Since then, lip-service and ceremonial have taken the place of healing the sick and raising the dead.

    Carmen Ariza Charles Francis Stocking
  • They may render it lip-service, but that is quite another thing.

    The New Machiavelli Herbert George Wells
  • Vain will be your lip-service; vain your cold, heartless offerings.

    Bible Emblems Edward E. Seelye
  • Jack laughed,—the sound with no real music in it, the sort of lip-service merely.

    Hope Mills Amanda M. Douglas
  • There is no lack of lip-service to the sea-creed in these islands.

  • By all means take heed of this turning the worship of God into lip-service.

  • The man who expects anything more than lip-service from his friends is a very young man.

  • So you seceded from Secession right away, to pay for that lip-service, hey?

    On Picket Duty and Other Tales Louisa May Alcott
  • Yet there was a distinguishing, cordial charm in his courtesy; it was not all lip-service.

    Mountain Clement Wood
British Dictionary definitions for lip-service

lip service

insincere support or respect expressed but not put into practice
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for lip-service

lip service


"something proffered but not performed," 1640s, from lip (n.) + service (n.1). Earlier in same sense was lip-labour (1530s).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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lip-service in Culture

lip service definition

Insincere agreement; to “pay lip service” is to consent in one's words while dissenting in one's heart: “The boss's support of affirmative action was merely paying lip service; he never committed himself to it in any substantial way.”

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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Slang definitions & phrases for lip-service

lip service


Insincere expression of friendship, admiration, agreement, support, etc: lip service for the volunteers

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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Idioms and Phrases with lip-service

lip service

Verbal but insincere expression of agreement or support. It is often put as pay or give lip service, as in They paid lip service to holding an election next year, but they had no intention of doing so. [ Mid-1600s ]
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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