hyp·​o·​crite ˈhi-pə-ˌkrit How to pronounce hypocrite (audio)
: a person who puts on a false appearance of virtue or religion
: a person who acts in contradiction to his or her stated beliefs or feelings
hypocrite adjective

Examples of hypocrite in a Sentence

We can learn a good deal about the manners and morals of the times from Lautrec, for he was neither a hypocrite nor a sentimentalist, and there is a matter-of-fact-ness about his vision … that precludes both nostalgia and prurience. Elizabeth Cowling, Times Literary Supplement, 8 Nov. 1991
Holding up high moral, ethical, and social standards is very difficult, because if one falls short of being a perfect example, one becomes a target and a hypocrite, albeit a well-meaning one. Mark Masters et al., New Dimensions, June 1990
Of all of these things and people Cilla knew nothing, nor could he tell her, yet he tried to show interest in what she had to tell him. Once he would have been very interested. Now he felt like a hypocrite, and because he was uncomfortable he blamed it in some way on Cilla. Esther Forbes, Johnny Tremain, 1943
the hypocrites who criticize other people for not voting but who don't always vote themselves
Recent Examples on the Web Michael Hiltzik: Are Republicans who got pandemic debt relief hypocrites for complaining about student debt relief? Ryan Fonseca, Los Angeles Times, 16 Apr. 2024 The comments section of his most recent video, posted on Monday, is full of people calling him a hypocrite. Gaby Del Valle, The Verge, 15 Mar. 2024 See all Example Sentences for hypocrite 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'hypocrite.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Middle English ypocrite, borrowed from Anglo-French ipocrite, borrowed from Late Latin hypocrita, borrowed from Greek hypokritḗs "answerer, actor on a stage, pretender," from hypokri-, variant stem of hypokrī́nomai, hypokrī́nesthai "to reply, make an answer, speak in dialogue, play a part on the stage, feign" + -tēs, agent suffix — more at hypocrisy

First Known Use

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of hypocrite was in the 13th century

Dictionary Entries Near hypocrite

Cite this Entry

“Hypocrite.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/hypocrite. Accessed 22 May. 2024.

Kids Definition


hyp·​o·​crite ˈhip-ə-ˌkrit How to pronounce hypocrite (audio)
: a person who pretends to have virtues or qualities that he or she does not have
: a person whose actions contradict their stated beliefs or feelings
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