crocodile tears

plural noun

: false or affected tears
also : hypocritical sorrow

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web Kristol would not brook being lectured to by thinkers feigning a concern for conservatism and shedding crocodile tears over its fall from a dignified version limited to quoting maxims from Edmund Burke. The Intersection, Discover Magazine, 18 June 2011 Nobody has used crocodile tears in television more than the matriarch of the Byrde crime family. Mike Postalakis, SPIN, 9 June 2022 The Merriam-Webster dictionary also seemed to weigh in, offering a definition of crocodile tears. Anna Kaplan, Forbes, 11 Nov. 2021 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 See More

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.

Word History

First Known Use

1563, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of crocodile tears was in 1563

Dictionary Entries Near crocodile tears

Cite this Entry

“Crocodile tears.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 Jan. 2023.

Kids Definition

crocodile tears

noun plural
: pretended tears or sorrow
Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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