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prig Line breaks: prig

Definition of prig in English:


A self-righteously moralistic person who behaves as if they are superior to others: she was religious but not a prig
More example sentences
  • Maybe you should have thought about that before you started behaving like a pompous prig.
  • His colleagues take him for a moralistic prig, but we sense powerful appetites, and honesty that is less an emanation of virtue than a stay against chaos.
  • She will become unself-critical and demanding of others; what might, with some justification, be called a self-righteous prig.
prude, puritan, killjoy, Mrs Grundy, Grundy, pedant, old maid, schoolmarm, Pharisee, hypocrite, pietist, priggish person;
North American  bluenose
informal goody-goody, Goody Two-Shoes, holy Joe, holy Willie, Miss Prim, stuffed shirt
literary Tartuffe
archaic precisian


Pronunciation: /ˈprɪɡəri/
Example sentences
  • No doubt priggery is a horrid thing, and the more moral the horrider.
  • Close up, the music was so loud it actually hurt my ears; people always accuse me of priggery when I complain about this, but I think it's a different kind of priggery to pretend not to notice.
  • Not to be taken as priggery but I felt that I told the real story of the Blue Stream to many establishment and organizations.


Mid 16th century: of unknown origin. The earliest sense was 'tinker' or 'petty thief', whence 'disliked person', especially 'someone who is affectedly and self-consciously precise' (late 17th century).

  • A prig is a self-righteously moralistic person who behaves as if they are superior to others. Perhaps they would feel less superior if they knew that a prig in the 16th century was a tinker or a petty thief. As time went on the word came to be applied to anyone who was disliked, and by the end of the 17th century it was used specifically to describe someone who was affectedly and self-consciously precise.

Words that rhyme with prig

big, brig, dig, fig, gig, grig, jig, lig, pig, rig, snig, sprig, swig, tig, trig, twig, Whig, wig
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