hyp·​o·​crite | \ ˈhi-pə-ˌkrit How to pronounce hypocrite (audio) \

Definition of hypocrite

1 : a person who puts on a false appearance of virtue or religion
2 : a person who acts in contradiction to his or her stated beliefs or feelings

Other Words from hypocrite

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 Republican candidate for Arizona governor Kari Lake — and her campaign lawyer — are trying to silence a drag queen whose social media posts labeling Lake a hypocrite have gone viral. Stacey Barchenger, The Arizona Republic, 28 June 2022 But despite that, Linn criticized Smollett, calling him a narcissist and a hypocrite. Edward Segarra, USA TODAY, 11 Mar. 2022 An unplugged fanatic like Tartuffe is always going to have an unsettling effect on a family—though today our fanatic may as easily be a yoga enthusiast or a New Age seer as a puritanical hypocrite. Adam Gopnik, The New Yorker, 1 Feb. 2022 Labude’s father, a wealthy lawyer who is freely cheating on his wife, provides a model for the upstanding hypocrite, abandoning the old pre-war ways. Kyle Smith, National Review, 9 Mar. 2022 For the rest of the group, condemning the hypocrite in the strongest possible terms is an act of self-defense, a way to deter others from trying the same. New York Times, 22 Jan. 2022 Gainor argued that the media mishandled the recent fury over Stacey Abrams's maskless photo in a Georgia classroom, which had critics calling her a hypocrite for not following her own COVID rules. Fox News, 9 Feb. 2022 Tartuffe is shown as a hypocrite in his lecheries, but a human being in his appetites. Adam Gopnik, The New Yorker, 1 Feb. 2022 Days later, the chief executive is forced to choose between barring a popular creator — and face the fury of his fans — or being seen as a hypocrite and an enabler of dangerous behavior. Kevin Roose, New York Times, 31 Jan. 2022 See More

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

First Known Use of hypocrite

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for hypocrite

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

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Time Traveler for hypocrite

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

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Dictionary Entries Near hypocrite



hypocrite plant

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Statistics for hypocrite

Last Updated

16 Jul 2022

Cite this Entry

“Hypocrite.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/hypocrite. Accessed 12 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for hypocrite


hyp·​o·​crite | \ ˈhi-pə-ˌkrit How to pronounce hypocrite (audio) \

Kids Definition of hypocrite

: a person who acts in a way that goes against what he or she claims to believe or feel She's a hypocrite who complains about litter and then litters herself.

Other Words from hypocrite

hypocritical \ ˌhi-​pə-​ˈkri-​ti-​kəl \ adjective


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