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[seynt-lee] /ˈseɪnt li/
adjective, saintlier, saintliest.
pertaining to, like, or befitting a saint:
saintly lives.
Origin of saintly
1650-60; saint + -ly
Related forms
saintliness, noun
hypersaintly, adjective
quasi-saintly, adjective
supersaintly, adjective
unsaintly, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for saintly
  • Concern for our reputations is one thing that nudges us toward the saintly end of the spectrum.
  • Consistently driving drum beats emphasize the power and might of the saintly main figure.
  • Some of them took it too far and became downright saintly.
  • She found something saintly and crazed in his undertaking, an element of self-denial, an element of penance.
  • There's beneath even the noblest novel a certain ignoble carpentry that one's would-be saintly self resents.
  • In some people, it paints mum in a more saintly light, making them remember her as closer and more caring.
  • Gertrude would gently fade, his saintly gray widow, into the people's remembrance.
  • He seemed saintly and untainted with the suspicion of corruption.
  • But he has done so surprisingly sparingly and obliquely, given his saintly reputation.
  • Again, this doesn't mean that employers are evil and workers are saintly.
British Dictionary definitions for saintly


adjective -lier, -liest
like, relating to, or suitable for a saint
Derived Forms
saintlily, adverb
saintliness, noun
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 saintly

1620s, from saint (n.) + -ly (1). Related: Saintliness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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