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 When Johnny Carson, who practiced a cool neutrality, returned without his writers during the 1988 strike, he wasn’t seen as a hypocrite contradicting his on-air principles. James Poniewozik, New York Times, 18 Sep. 2023 All these clown comments criticizing the early releases... these same hypocrites would be criticizing them if they hadn't been let out and the storm was destructive. Ian Livingston, Washington Post, 8 Aug. 2023 Ben is a 21st century variation on the Gen X slacker, the kind of guy who acts like anything that’s not on the Criterion Channel isn’t worth bothering with and anybody who actually cares about something is a sellout, a poser, or a hypocrite. David Fear, Rolling Stone, 3 Aug. 2023 For his part, Finebaum told AL.com that Kiffin is a hypocrite. Mark Heim | Mheim@al.com, al, 25 July 2023 After the misconduct allegations against him went public, some Texas House representatives portrayed Slaton, a married father and former pastor, as a hypocrite, with some calling him a predator given the age of the woman with whom he’s accused of having intercourse. Ryan Autullo, USA TODAY, 9 May 2023 According to a Sports Illustrated report, Monahan was called out at that meeting as a hypocrite by at least one golfer and was subject to an embarrassing standing ovation when another called for a change in leadership. Tara Sullivan, BostonGlobe.com, 7 June 2023 Texts found in pretrial discovery revealed that Carlson was a fraud and a hypocrite who secretly loathed Trump. Alex Shephard, The New Republic, 26 Apr. 2023 To avoid being lumped into the leadership category of performative hypocrites, empathy should be thought of as a skill that can be developed and practiced daily. Alain Hunkins, Forbes, 18 Apr. 2023 See More

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 4 Oct. 2023.

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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