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n. pl. hy·poc·ri·sies
1. The practice of professing beliefs, feelings, or virtues that one does not hold or possess; falseness.
2. An act or instance of such falseness.

[Middle English ipocrisie, from Old French, from Late Latin hypocrisis, play-acting, pretense, from Greek hupokrisis, from hupokrīnesthai, to play a part, pretend : hupo-, hypo- + krīnesthai, to explain, middle voice of krīnein, to decide, judge; see krei- in Indo-European roots.]


n, pl -sies
1. the practice of professing standards, beliefs, etc, contrary to one's real character or actual behaviour, esp the pretence of virtue and piety
2. an act or instance of this


(hɪˈpɒk rə si)

n., pl. -sies.
1. the false profession of desirable or publicly approved qualities, beliefs, or feelings, esp. a pretense of having virtues, moral principles, or religious beliefs that one does not really possess.
2. an act or instance of hypocrisy.
[1175–1225; Middle English ipocrisie < Old French < Late Latin hypocrisis < Greek hypókrisis playacting =hypokri(nesthai) to play a part, explain (hypo- hypo- + krinein to distinguish, separate) + -sis -sis]


the condition of a person pretending to be something he is not, especially in the area of morals or religion; a false presentation of belief or feeling. — hypocrite, n. — hypocritic, hypocritical, adj.
See also: Lies and Lying



(See also PRETENSE.)

carry fire in one hand and water in the other To be duplicitous, to engage in double-dealing; to be two-faced, to speak with forked tongue. The expression comes from Plautus; it continues “to bear a stone in one hand, a piece of bread in the other.” Thus, the expression indicates that a person is prepared to act in totally contradictory ways to achieve his purposes.

crocodile tears Pretended or insincere tears, hypocritical weeping, false sorrow. Legend has it that a crocodile sheds tears and moans in order to lure passers-by into its clutches, and then, still weeping, devours them. A person who feigns deep sorrow in order to impress others or gain their sympathy is thus said to cry crocodile tears. This expression, in use since 1563, is found in Shakespeare’s Henry VI, (Part II): Gloucester’s show

Beguiles him, as the mournful crocodile
With sorrow snares relenting passengers. (III, i)

give pap with a hatchet To do or say a kind thing in an unkind way; to administer punishment under the guise of an act of kindness or generosity. This expression derives from the title of an anonymous pamphlet published in 1589 and attributed to John Lyly. The image of an infant being fed with a hatchet gives the phrase its obvious ironic tone. The recipient experiences more harm than good, thus undercutting any illusion of good intentions and suggesting the possibility of duplicity at play.

He that so old seeks for a nurse so young, shall have pap with a hatchet for his comfort! (Alexander Niccoles, A Discourse of Marriage and Wiving, 1615)

This expression usually indicates a disparity between reality and appearances, intentions, or expectations.

mote in the eye See IMPERFECTION.

odor of sanctity See VIRTUOUSNESS.

strain at a gnat and swallow a camel To make a great commotion about an insignificant matter while accepting grave faults and injustices without a murmur; to complain vociferously about minor transgressions while committing deplorable offenses. This expression originated in Christ’s castigation of the hypocritical Pharisees:

Ye blind guides, which strain at a gnat, and swallow a camel. Woe unto you … for ye make clean the outside of the cup and platter, but within they are full of extortion and excess. (Matthew 23:24-25)

In this expression, gnat alludes to semething small and insignificant, while camel refers to something large or bulky which is difficult to “swallow” or accept.

Can we believe that your government strains in good earnest at the petty gnats of schism, when it makes nothing to swallow the Camel heresy of Rome. (John Milton, Church Government, 1641)

talk out of both sides of one’s mouth To espouse conflicting, contradictory points of view; to be inconsistent and hypocritical. This expression can be said of one who is two-faced or wishy-washy and afraid to take a stand.

ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.hypocrisy - an expression of agreement that is not supported by real conviction
dissembling, feigning, pretense, pretence - pretending with intention to deceive
crocodile tears - a hypocritical display of sorrow; false or insincere weeping; "the secretaries wept crocodile tears over the manager's dilemma"; "politicians shed crocodile tears over the plight of the unemployed"
2.hypocrisy - insincerity by virtue of pretending to have qualities or beliefs that you do not really have
insincerity, falseness, hollowness - the quality of not being open or truthful; deceitful or hypocritical
sanctimoniousness, sanctimony - the quality of being hypocritically devout
smarminess, unctuousness, unction, fulsomeness, oiliness, oleaginousness - smug self-serving earnestness


noun insincerity, pretence, deceit, deception, cant, duplicity, dissembling, falsity, imposture, sanctimoniousness, phoniness (informal), deceitfulness, pharisaism, speciousness, two-facedness, phariseeism He accused newspapers of hypocrisy in their treatment of the story.
honesty, sincerity, truthfulness
"Hypocrisy is a tribute which vice pays to virtue" [Duc de la Rochefoucauld Réflexions ou Sentences et Maximes Morales]
"I hope you have not been leading a double life, pretending to be wicked and being really good all the time. That would be hypocrisy" [Oscar Wilde The Importance of Being Earnest]
"Why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?" Bible: St. Matthew
"hypocrisy, the only evil that walks"
"Invisible, except to God alone" [John Milton Paradise Lost]


A show or expression of feelings or beliefs one does not actually hold or possess:
رِياء، نِفاق


[hɪˈpɒkrɪsɪ] Nhipocresía f


[hɪˈpɒkrɪsi] nhypocrisie f


n (= hypocritical behaviour)Heuchelei f; (= sanctimony)Scheinheiligkeit f


[hɪˈpɒkrɪsɪ] nipocrisia


(hiˈpokrəsi) noun
the act or state of pretending to be better than one is or to have feelings or beliefs which one does not actually have.
hypocrite (ˈhipəkrit) noun
a person who is guilty of hypocrisy.
ˌhypoˈcritical (hipəˈkri-) adjective
ˌhypoˈcritically adverb
References in periodicals archive ?
If you don't think he's cute, you must be a hippocrite
623-26) (Here comes Master Hippocrites de gratia divina his mother gobbled down the master's club in arte medicina.)