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1. a member of a Jewish sect that flourished during the 1st century b.c. and 1st century a.d. and that differed from the Sadducees chiefly in its strict observance of religious ceremonies and practices, adherence to oral laws and traditions, and belief in an afterlife and the coming of a Messiah.
2. (l.c.) a sanctimonious, self-righteous, or hypocritical person.
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.