hyp·​o·​crit·​i·​cal | \ ˌhi-pə-ˈkri-ti-kəl How to pronounce hypocritical (audio) \

Definition of hypocritical

: characterized by behavior that contradicts what one claims to believe or feel : characterized by hypocrisy said that it was hypocritical to demand respect from students without respecting them in return a hypocritical gesture of modesty and virtue— Robert Graves also : being a person who acts in contradiction to his or her stated beliefs or feelings : being a hypocrite

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from hypocritical

hypocritically \ ˌhi-​pə-​ˈkri-​ti-​k(ə-​)lē How to pronounce hypocritically (audio) \ adverb

Examples of hypocritical in a Sentence

it's hypocritical to say mean things behind someone's back, and then to act nice when you want something from her
Recent Examples on the Web According to the contemptible and hypocritical Unwritten Rules of Baseball, players who celebrate home runs too demonstratively, such as Chicago White Sox shortstop Tim Anderson, are baseball’s bad actors, violators of the sanctity of the game. Globe Staff, BostonGlobe.com, "Punishment for Astros shows MLB’s sign-stealing days are over — and the Red Sox are next," 13 Jan. 2020 Our leadership has been imperfect and sometimes hypocritical. Washington Post, "The president didn’t threaten just Iran’s culture sites. He threatened culture.," 6 Jan. 2020 But the Mercedes driver suffered a backlash over those posts, with some claiming his messages were hypocritical considering Formula One's large carbon footprint. Ben Morse And Amanda Davies, CNN, "Sebastian Vettel: F1 can be at the vanguard of tackling climate change," 2 Nov. 2019 But Alex Mitchell, a Boston University student whose family is rooted in Roxbury, called on councilors to oppose the name change to Nubian, calling it hypocritical. Milton J. Valencia, BostonGlobe.com, "A new name for Dudley Square? Voters may get to weigh in this fall.," 28 Aug. 2019 And to shine a light on the disingenuous, hypocritical manner in which the NFL does business. Gary Peterson, chicagotribune.com, "Colin Kaepernick’s work on Nike ad earns Emmy, not NFL quarterback gig," 18 Sep. 2019 And to shine a light on the disingenuous, hypocritical manner in which the NFL does business. Gary Peterson, The Mercury News, "Kaepernick’s work on Nike ad earns Emmy, not NFL quarterback gig," 16 Sep. 2019 Will their intentions prove to be Hippocratic, or hypocritical? Robert Hackett, Fortune, "Big Tech Is Coming for Your Most Sensitive Data," 13 Nov. 2019 Bevin supporters said Friday that Andy Beshear was being hypocritical by attacking Bevin on the matter. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Kentucky governor faces pushback over use of state aircraft," 20 Sep. 2019

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

See More

First Known Use of hypocritical

1553, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for hypocritical

hypocritic "of a hypocrite" (borrowed from Medieval Latin hypocriticus, borrowed from Greek hypokritikós "of acting, skilled in rhetorical delivery," from hypokritḗs "answerer, actor on a stage" + -ikos -ic entry 1) + -al entry 1 — more at hypocrite

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about hypocritical

Time Traveler for hypocritical

Time Traveler

The first known use of hypocritical was in 1553

See more words from the same year

Statistics for hypocritical

Last Updated

21 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Hypocritical.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/hypocritical. Accessed 26 Feb. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on hypocritical

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


See Definitions and Examples »

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

More Confusing Words—Quiz

  • cats on impossible timber
  • The magician ______ moved the selected card to the top of the deck.
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Dictionary Devil

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

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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