crocodile tears

plural noun

Definition of crocodile tears

: false or affected tears also : hypocritical sorrow

Examples of crocodile tears in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Being compassionate doesn’t mean shedding crocodile tears, treating the customer like a hurt child or being dishonest with them. James Legg, Forbes, 10 Sep. 2021 Some accused him this week of weeping crocodile tears, given that his money-grubbing fuelled the club’s crisis. Simon Kuper, Time, 11 Aug. 2021 If the price and wage spiral gets worse, Cuggino, crying crocodile tears about the U.S. economy, will probably do very well. William Baldwin, Forbes, 19 June 2021 Employers shed crocodile tears over the loss of ballot secrecy, arguing that card check would enable labor organizers to harass workers into supporting unionization. Los Angeles Times, 20 Apr. 2021 Some of the nation’s biggest and most powerful companies exploited an unprecedented human crisis to grow bigger and more powerful, making sure to shed crocodile tears for the losers. Gerard Baker, WSJ, 14 Dec. 2020 Yes, in real life, just like in the movie, the powerful MGM studio cried crocodile tears while asking his staff to take a pay cut because of the Great Depression. Shannon Carlin,, 7 Dec. 2020 The tears in these stately Renaissance dances are old and new tears, tears of sighing and of sadness, crocodile tears and their counterpart, truth’s tears. Mark Swed, Los Angeles Times, 11 Nov. 2020 If Joe Biden wins the election, which appears likely, prepare for a tsunami of crocodile tears about spending and the national debt from the GOP. Ryan Cooper, TheWeek, 10 Sep. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'crocodile tears.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of crocodile tears

1563, in the meaning defined above

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The first known use of crocodile tears was in 1563

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Dictionary Entries Near crocodile tears

crocodile squeezer

crocodile tears


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Last Updated

7 Oct 2021

Cite this Entry

“Crocodile tears.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 Oct. 2021.

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More Definitions for crocodile tears

crocodile tears


English Language Learners Definition of crocodile tears

: a false expression of sadness or regret about something


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