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I'm looking for a precise word to describe someone who is hypocritical on moral issues, for example:

  • a cult guru who claims to be holy while doing something evil.
  • or a company which partakes in some kind of sordid business practice while pretending to be holier-than-thou.
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    What's wrong with hypocrite? – terdon Sep 7 '13 at 1:49
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    I agree with @terdon. In fact, I'd argue that most hypocrisy is moral hypocrisy, and it seems many dictionaries would support that assertion. – J.R. Sep 7 '13 at 9:41
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    That is precisely the meaning of hypocrisy. Searching for moral hypocrisy is like searching for wet water. – John M. Landsberg Sep 7 '13 at 16:57
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I believe the word is sanctimonious defined in the dictionary as

making a hypocritical show of religious devotion, piety, righteousness, etc.: They resented his sanctimonious comments on immorality in America.

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The thesaurus provides us with

  • pharisee
  • Tartuffe
  • Holy Willie
  • whited sepulchre
  • phoney or phony
  • beguiler
  • cheater
  • deceiver
  • slicker
  • cheat
  • fraud
  • deceiver
  • pretender
  • charlatan
  • impostor

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