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[self-rahy-chuh s, self-] /ˌsɛlfˈraɪ tʃəs, ˈsɛlf-/
confident of one's own righteousness, especially when smugly moralistic and intolerant of the opinions and behavior of others.
Origin of self-righteous
Related forms
self-righteously, adverb
self-righteousness, noun
unself-righteous, adjective
unself-righteously, adverb
unself-righteousness, noun
sanctimonious, pharisaical. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for self-righteous
  • The information is interesting, but its presentation verges on self-righteous.
  • But let's watch the self-righteous indignation and reserve a little anger for the enablers.
  • And she managed to do it without the self-righteous territoriality that is the occupational vice of human-rights experts.
  • Due process sounds good in theory, but the self-righteous critics have it all figured out, and have already prosecuted.
  • People are not responding well to the self-righteous rants of animal-rights vegans.
  • There's nothing self-righteous about this undertaking, however.
  • Anonymity always brings out the few, the self-righteous, the exploitive.
  • But let's not completely conflate our national self-interest with self-righteous moral judgment.
  • They're not guilt-ridden and they're not self-righteous.
  • Journalists get all indignant and self-righteous when someone calls out their unrealistic use of hyperbole.
British Dictionary definitions for self-righteous


having or showing an exaggerated awareness of one's own virtuousness or rights
Derived Forms
self-righteously, adverb
self-righteousness, 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 self-righteous

1680s, from self- + righteous. Related: Self-righteously; self-righteousness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Quotes with self-righteous