noun hyp·o·crite \ ˈhi-pə-ˌkrit \
|Updated on: 10 Jul 2018

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



Examples of hypocrite in a Sentence

  1. 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 CowlingTimes Literary Supplement8 Nov. 1991
  2. 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 DimensionsJune 1990
  3. 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 ForbesJohnny Tremain1943
  4. the hypocrites who criticize other people for not voting but who don't always vote themselves

Recent Examples of hypocrite from the Web

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.

Origin and Etymology of 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

HYPOCRITE Defined for English Language Learners


Definition of hypocrite for English Language Learners

  • : a person who claims or pretends to have certain beliefs about what is right but who behaves in a way that disagrees with those beliefs

HYPOCRITE Defined for Kids


noun hyp·o·crite \ ˈhi-pə-ˌkrit \

Definition of hypocrite for Students

: 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.


\ˌhi-pə-ˈkri-ti-kəl\ adjective

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