One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A religious hypocrite, or a hypocritical pretender to excellence of any kind.
- ‘But neither were they Tartuffes in caftans: for them, like their Arab predecessors, the erotic and the spiritual coexisted along a delicate continuum.’
- ‘W. A. Clark's multimillions and his art collection attracted both protagonists and Tartuffes.’
- ‘Some of this book makes uncomfortable reading for Catholics, because several of the most outré orientalists who have controlled French policy in the last century turn out to have been Tartuffes of the worst kind.’
- ‘We are all too aware of the Tartuffes of our day using the façade of religion to further their own selfish aims.’
- ‘I've seen some Tartuffes you would not let through the front door.’
From the name of the principal character (a religious hypocrite) in Molière's Tartuffe (1664).
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