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duplicity

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noun, du·plic·i·ty \du̇-ˈpli-sə-tē also dyu̇-\

Simple Definition of duplicity

  • : dishonest behavior that is meant to trick someone

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of duplicity

plural duplicities

  1. 1 :  contradictory doubleness of thought, speech, or action; especially :  the belying of one's true intentions by deceptive words or action

  2. 2 :  the quality or state of being double or twofold

  3. 3 :  the technically incorrect use of two or more distinct items (as claims, charges, or defenses) in a single legal action

Examples of duplicity in a sentence

  1. He exposed the spy's duplicity.

  2. <we were lucky not to be taken in by his duplicity>



Did You Know?

If someone's duplicity has left you feeling like you're seeing double, take heart in the word's etymology. Duplicity comes from a long line of "double" talk, starting with its Latin grandparent duplex, which means "double" or "twofold." As you might expect, duplex is also the parent of another term for doubling it up, duplicate. And of course, the English duplex (which can be a noun meaning "a two-family house" or an adjective meaning "double") comes from the Latin word of the same spelling.

Origin of duplicity

Middle English duplicite, from Middle French, from Late Latin duplicitat-, duplicitas, from Latin duplex


First Known Use: 15th century


Law Dictionary

duplicity

play
noun du·plic·i·ty \dü-ˈpli-sə-tē, dyü-\

Legal Definition of duplicity

plural duplicities

  1. 1 :  the use of deceptive words or actions

  2. 2 :  the use of more than one claim, allegation, or defense in a single paragraph of a pleading; especially :  the improper charging of more than one offense in one count in a charging instrument (as an indictment) — compare misjoinder, multiplicity



Origin of duplicity

Late Latin duplicitat- duplicitas duality, double-dealing, from Latin duplex twofold



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