hypocrisy

noun hy·poc·ri·sy \ hi-ˈpä-krə-sē also hī- \
|Updated on: 9 Jul 2018

Definition of hypocrisy

plural hypocrisies
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 : 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 ypocrisye, borrowed from Anglo-French ypocrisie, borrowed from Late Latin hypocrisis, ypocrisis, borrowed from Greek hypókrisis "playing a part on the stage, pretending to be something one is not," from hypokri-, variant stem of hypokrī́nomai, hypokrī́nesthai "to reply, make an answer, speak in dialogue, play a part on the stage, feign" (from hypo- hypo- + krī́nomai, middle voice of krī́nō, krī́nein "to separate, choose, decide, judge") + -sis, suffix forming nouns of action or process — more at 1certain


HYPOCRISY Defined for English Language Learners

hypocrisy

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

noun hy·poc·ri·sy \ hi-ˈpä-krə-sē \

Definition of hypocrisy for Students

plural hypocrisies
: the quality of acting in a way that goes against claimed beliefs or feelings


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