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Pecksniffian

or Pecksniffish

[pek-snif-ee-uh n] /pɛkˈsnɪf i ən/
adjective, (often lowercase)
1.
hypocritically and unctuously affecting benevolence or high moral principles.
Origin of Pecksniffian
1850-1855
1850-55; named after Seth Pecksniff, character in Martin Chuzzlewit, a novel (1843) by Dickens; see -ian
Related forms
Pecksniffery, Pecksniffianism, Pecksniffism, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for Pecksniffian
Historical Examples
  • The conclusion was couched in that vein of Pecksniffian benevolence of which we hear so much in life.

  • He was, after a fashion, a Pecksniffian man, this Henry Ham.

    The Sea Bride Ben Ames Williams
  • And even when I come to feel a final incompatibility of temper, Pecksniff was not so Pecksniffian as he has since become.

    Utopia of Usurers and other Essays Gilbert Keith Chesterton
  • I considered for a while, and then with a Pecksniffian air of benignant charity offered him "two dollar!"

  • He posed as the Pecksniffian leader of Reform and the reform he advocated always meant the lash for the man who toils.

    The Fall of a Nation Thomas Dixon
  • But there is something quite pestilently Pecksniffian about shrinking from a hard task on the plea that it is not hard enough.

    A Chesterton Calendar G. K. Chesterton
  • Piety was certainly hers, in a Pecksniffian sense, but the commercial instinct leavened the loaf.

    Wanted: A Cook Alan Dale
  • Of course, one should be cautious here, so as not to seem merely puritanical or Pecksniffian.

    Literature in the Elementary School Porter Lander MacClintock
  • At all events, Philadelphia is the most Pecksniffian of American cities, and thus probably leads the world.

    The American Language Henry L. Mencken
British Dictionary definitions for Pecksniffian

Pecksniffian

/pɛkˈsnɪfɪən/
adjective
1.
affecting benevolence or high moral principles
Word Origin
C19: after Seth Pecksniff, character in Dickens' Martin Chuzzlewit (1843)
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 Pecksniffian
adj.

1851, after Mr. Pecksniff, unctuous hypocrite in Dickens' "Martin Chuzzlewit" (1844).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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