pharis-, pharisa-

(Greek > Latin: pharisaios; from Aramaic prisayya; "those who are separate")

Pharisaic, pharisaic (adjective); more Pharisaic, more pharisaic; most Pharisaic, most pharisaic
Relating to or characteristic of a member of an ancient Jewish religious group who followed an Oral Law in addition to the Torah and who supposedly attempted to live in a continuous state of purity or self-righteousness: There are stories written about Pharisaic leaders that present them as authoritative and dominant figures in the Jewish society, religion, and politics.

There were Pharisaic tendencies to have a self-sufficient and haughty attitude about their religious beliefs.

At times, a pharisaic person is described as someone who observes the formalities of a religion, but who neglects the spirit of his or her religious beliefs.

Relating to a pretension of being moral and virtuous, but not being such a person; hypocritical.
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Pharisaical, pharisaical (adjective); more Pharisaical, most pharisaical; most Pharisaical, most pharisaical
1. A reference to the group that promoted the observance of Jewish rites, to study the Laws and to remove paganism from the land: The Pharisaical followers refused to compromise in any way with their religious beliefs and as a result they suffered torture and martyrdom by non-Jewish conquerors rather than desecrate the sabbath or violate other Jewish observances.
2. Relating to being self-righteously obsessed with religious rules and acting with hypocrisy with regard to the strict adherence to those standards and formalities: While the Pharisees, as a group, set high expectations for themselves, not all of the Pharisaical members lived up to those practices.

In modern times, there are pharisaical followers who appear to be following the religious teachings of their organizations, but are deceivers who are actually making false claims and practicing more immoral lives than the teachings which they profess to be adhering to.

2. Etymology: from ecclesiastical Latin pharisaicus which came from Greek pharisalos, "those who are separate".
Pharisaism, pharisaism (s) (noun), Pharisaisms, pharisaisms (pl)
The dishonest observance of the letter of religious or moral law without regard for the spirit; sanctimoniousness: The practice of pharisaism is said to be a self-righteous or obsessive behavior or attitude; especially, toward the observation of rules and formalities instead the spiritual aspects of a religion.
Pharisee, pharisee (s) (FAIR i see) (noun) Pharisees, pharisees
1. A member of an ancient Jewish religious group that had a particularly strict interpretation and observance of the Mosaic law in both its oral and written forms: As a member of the exclusive Jewish group, some Pharisees had more regard for the organization's tradition and ceremonies, which led its members to believe that they had a superior sanctity, or holiness, resulting in their separation from the other Jews.

Some Pharisees were legalistic and socially exclusive because they considered non-Pharisees to be spiritually unclean.

At least part of the time, Pharisees were admired by the common people because they functioned as social and political forces against foreign and hellenized Jewish leaders who were sympathetic to the Greek language and culture.

—Compiled from information located in
Harpers' Bible Dictionary; Harper & Row, Publishers;
San Francisco, California; 1985; page 783.
2. A lower case "p" indicates a sanctimonious hypocrite who is narrow minded and self-righteous: A pharisee is now considered to be anyone who values the letter of the law more than the spirit or intention of the law.
3. Etymology: from the Hebrew word perusim, "the separate ones" which is based on the verb perash, "to separate" or "to set apart"; which became pharisaios in Greek, and was applied to any self-righteous person.