hypocrisy

play
noun hy·poc·ri·sy \hi-ˈpä-krə-sē also hī-\

Definition of hypocrisy

plural

hypocrisies

  1. 1 :  a feigning to be what one is not or to believe what one does not :  behavior that contradicts what one claims to believe or feel His hypocrisy was finally revealed with the publication of his private letters.; especially :  the false assumption of an appearance of virtue or religion our conventional morality often serves as a cover for hypocrisy and selfishness — Lucius Garvin

  2. 2 :  an act or instance of hypocrisy a keen awareness of one's parents' hypocrisies

Examples of hypocrisy in a Sentence

  1. When his private letters were made public, they revealed his hypocrisy.

  2. the hypocrisy of people who say one thing but do another

  3. Teenagers often have a keen awareness of their parents' hypocrisies.

Recent Examples of hypocrisy from the Web

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

Origin and Etymology of hypocrisy

Middle English ypocrisie, from Anglo-French, from Late Latin hypocrisis, from Greek hypokrisis act of playing a part on the stage, hypocrisy, from hypokrinesthai to answer, act on the stage, from hypo- + krinein to decide — more at certain


First Known Use: 13th century


HYPOCRISY Defined for English Language Learners

hypocrisy

play
noun

Definition of hypocrisy for English Language Learners

  • : the behavior of people who do things that they tell other people not to do : behavior that does not agree with what someone claims to believe or feel


HYPOCRISY Defined for Kids

hypocrisy

play
noun hy·poc·ri·sy \hi-ˈpä-krə-sē\

Definition of hypocrisy for Students

plural

hypocrisies

  1. :  the quality of acting in a way that goes against claimed beliefs or feelings



Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up hypocrisy? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!

WORD OF THE DAY

a lively discussion

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

  • istock-refers-to-this-as-a-tumble-of-strawberries-which-sounded-pretty-nice-to-us
  • Which is a synonym of garner?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!