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

Example Sentences

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 Being a coach himself and not wanting to be a hypocrite, Herb had his son do what’s best for the team, which meant transitioning to a rebounder and post defender. Mark Zeigler, San Diego Union-Tribune, 20 Nov. 2022 Some audience members weren’t enamored with the gesture, however, and instead called Dernulc a hypocrite for giving the money at all. Michelle L. Quinn, Chicago Tribune, 1 Nov. 2022 After the report, Walker’s son — a conservative commentator — lashed out at his father, calling him a liar and a hypocrite. Ben Kamisar, NBC News, 4 Oct. 2022 But for Lightfoot, getting called a property tax hypocrite is likely preferable to sticking to her plan during an inflation crisis and trying to wrangle council members to stand with her while facing her own tough campaign. John Byrne, Chicago Tribune, 29 Sep. 2022 Media pundits have attacked DeSantis following the aftermath of Hurricane Ian, suggesting that the conservative governor is a hypocrite for requesting federal assistance. Lindsay Kornick, Fox News, 3 Oct. 2022 Twitter is advancing this position so that a disdainful hypocrite will be forced to buy it. Ian Bogost, The Atlantic, 13 July 2022 Stevens' now-viral post about Lake labeled Lake a hypocrite for targeting the gay community and drag performers. Stacey Barchenger, The Arizona Republic, 28 June 2022 White House officials and Democrats have called Abbott a hypocrite for not levying similar criticism on Trump. Arelis R. Hernández, Washington Post, 8 July 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.

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 4 Dec. 2022.

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
Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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