Word of the Day Archive
Sunday September 23, 2012
1. Practicing or advocating strict observance of external forms and ceremonies of religion or conduct without regard to the spirit; self-righteous; hypocritical.
2. Of or pertaining to the Pharisees.
"And yet that reverend gentleman," said Pleydell, "whom I love for his father's sake and his own, has nothing of the sour or pharisaical pride which has been imputed to some of the early fathers of the Calvinistic Kirk of Scotland."
-- Sir Walter Scott, Guy Mannering or the Astrologer
"Of course," he said gloomily, "it is one of those Pharisaical cruelties of which only such heartless men are capable."
-- Leo Tolstoy, Anna Karenina
Pharisaic comes from the story in the Bible about the Pharisees, a religious sect who purportedly only practiced the doctrine and ritual of their faith without corresponding inner devotion.