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[hip-uh-krit] /ˈhɪp ə krɪt/
a person who pretends to have virtues, moral or religious beliefs, principles, etc., that he or she does not actually possess, especially a person whose actions belie stated beliefs.
a person who feigns some desirable or publicly approved attitude, especially one whose private life, opinions, or statements belie his or her public statements.
Origin of hypocrite
1175-1225; Middle English ipocrite < Old French < Late Latin hypocrita < Greek hypokritḗs a stage actor, hence one who pretends to be what he is not, equivalent to hypokrī́(nesthai) (see hypocrisy) + -tēs agent suffix
Related forms
hypocritical, adjective
superhypocrite, noun
deceiver, dissembler, pretender, pharisee. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for hypocrite
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • As she said all this, Hester felt like a hypocrite, remembering her own sins.

    Weighed and Wanting George MacDonald
  • Every good deed that he has done is denounced as the act of a hypocrite.

    Henry Dunbar M. E. Braddon
  • I will do the fellow the justice to say that he was not a hypocrite.

  • Every one who is not a hypocrite will own that it is exactly the contrary.

    The Sexual Question August Forel
  • Please don't be a hypocrite any more, Jimmy, if you can help it.

    People of Position Stanley Portal Hyatt
British Dictionary definitions for hypocrite


a person who pretends to be what he is not
Derived Forms
hypocritical, adjective
hypocritically, adverb
Word Origin
C13: from Old French ipocrite, via Late Latin, from Greek hupokritēs one who plays a part, from hupokrinein to feign, from krinein to judge
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for hypocrite

c.1200, ypocrite, from Old French ypocrite (12c., Modern French hypocrite), from Church Latin hypocrita, from Greek hypokrites "stage actor, pretender, dissembler," from hypokrinesthai (see hypocrisy).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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