Definition of Pharisee in English:

Pharisee

noun

  • 1A member of an ancient Jewish sect, distinguished by strict observance of the traditional and written law, and commonly held to have pretensions to superior sanctity.

    • ‘Nicodemus, mentioned only in the Gospel of John, was a Pharisee and probably a member of the Sanhedrin, the highest governing body.’
    • ‘He had to make allies with the Pharisees, the Jewish high priests of the temple, because he needed some help in governing.’
    • ‘Saul was a devout Jew, a Pharisee, a teacher of the law, a member of the Sanhedrin, a believer in the Jehovah of Israel and looked for the coming Messiah.’
    • ‘As to the framework of his history, Jesus and Judaism are inseparably entwined; he appears closer to the Pharisees than to other Jewish groups in the first century.’
    • ‘He asked the Jewish leaders, the Pharisees and Sadducees, to repent from their evil ways.’
    1. 1.1 A self-righteous person; a hypocrite.
      • ‘The hypocrites and Pharisees of the Republican Party are exactly the sorts of people Jesus warned us against.’
      • ‘The Pharisees and hypocrites in the British press should repent their calumnies.’
      • ‘Though the hypocrites and Pharisees that run the Republican party will have a hard time understanding this, Jesus would have understood it immediately.’
      sanctimonious person, pietist, whited sepulchre, plaster saint, humbug, pretender, deceiver, dissembler, impostor
      View synonyms

Origin

Old English fariseus, via ecclesiastical Latin from Greek Pharisaios, from Aramaic prīšayyā separated ones (related to Hebrew pārūš separated).

Pronunciation:

Pharisee

/ˈferəˌsē/