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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.]
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


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
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014


(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]
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.


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
-Ologies & -Isms. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.



(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.

Picturesque Expressions: A Thematic Dictionary, 1st Edition. © 1980 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.


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]
Collins Thesaurus of the English Language – Complete and Unabridged 2nd Edition. 2002 © HarperCollins Publishers 1995, 2002


A show or expression of feelings or beliefs one does not actually hold or possess:
The American Heritage® Roget's Thesaurus. Copyright © 2013, 2014 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
رِياء، نِفاق


[hɪˈpɒkrɪsɪ] Nhipocresía f
Collins Spanish Dictionary - Complete and Unabridged 8th Edition 2005 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1971, 1988 © HarperCollins Publishers 1992, 1993, 1996, 1997, 2000, 2003, 2005


[hɪˈpɒkrɪsi] nhypocrisie f
Collins English/French Electronic Resource. © HarperCollins Publishers 2005


n (= hypocritical behaviour)Heuchelei f; (= sanctimony)Scheinheiligkeit f
Collins German Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged 7th Edition 2005. © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1980 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1997, 1999, 2004, 2005, 2007


[hɪˈpɒkrɪsɪ] nipocrisia
Collins Italian Dictionary 1st Edition © HarperCollins Publishers 1995


(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
Kernerman English Multilingual Dictionary © 2006-2013 K Dictionaries Ltd.
References in classic literature ?
And this hypocrisy found I worst amongst them, that even those who command feign the virtues of those who serve.
They cooked their meat before they ate it and they shunned many articles of food as unclean that Tarzan had eaten with gusto all his life and so insidious is the virus of hypocrisy that even the stalwart ape-man hesitated to give rein to his natural longings before them.
There was a bit of lie in this attitude of mine, a bit of hypocrisy; but the lie and the hypocrisy were those of a man desiring to live.
Hypocrisy? Had there been nothing more in his renunciation than that?
But he found himself encompassed with guards and forced to remain silent while the Chief Circle in a few impassioned words made a final appeal to the Women, exclaiming that, if the Colour Bill passed, no marriage would henceforth be safe, no woman's honour secure; fraud, deception, hypocrisy would pervade every household; domestic bliss would share the fate of the Constitution and pass to speedy perdition.
That feeling was an intimate, familiar feeling, like a consciousness of hypocrisy, which she experienced in her relations with her husband.
She slaved, toiled, patched, and mended, sang and played backgammon, read out the newspaper, cooked dishes, for old Sedley, walked him out sedulously into Kensington Gardens or the Brompton Lanes, listened to his stories with untiring smiles and affectionate hypocrisy, or sat musing by his side and communing with her own thoughts and reminiscences, as the old man, feeble and querulous, sunned himself on the garden benches and prattled about his wrongs or his sorrows.
I had always my hypocrisy of "work," behind which, now, I gained the sofa.
Even so ye also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity."
She had an evil face, smoothed by hypocrisy: but her manners were excellent.
Nay, when I read a letter of his, I cannot help giving him the preference even over Wickham, much as I value the impudence and hypocrisy of my son-in-law.
His own content was absolute, but hers held bitterness: the Honeychurches had not forgiven them; they were disgusted at her past hypocrisy; she had alienated Windy Corner, perhaps for ever.