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View synonyms for crocodile tears

crocodile tears

noun

  1. (used with a plural verb) a hypocritical show of sorrow; insincere tears.
  2. (used with a singular verb) Pathology. spontaneous tearing initiated by tasting or chewing food, occurring as a result of facial paralysis.


crocodile tears

plural noun

  1. an insincere show of grief; false tears


crocodile tears

  1. An insincere show of sympathy or sadness; crocodiles were once thought to “weep” large tears before they ate their victims: “Don't shed any crocodile tears for Fisher; I know you were responsible for his firing.”


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Word History and Origins

Origin of crocodile tears1

First recorded in 1555–65; so called from the ancient belief that crocodiles shed tears while eating their victims
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Word History and Origins

Origin of crocodile tears1

from the belief that crocodiles wept over their prey to lure further victims
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Idioms and Phrases

An insincere display of grief, as in When the play's star broke her leg, her understudy wept crocodile tears . This term comes from the mistaken notion that crocodiles weep while eating their prey, one held in ancient Roman times. The actual term was picked up by Shakespeare and many other writers after him, and remains current. [Late 1500s]
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Example Sentences

And as for larger crocodile tears from Republicans in Congress--oh, boo hoo.

Now Terry Jones is shedding crocodile tears, saying he is "devastated" by the violence, but it was entirely predictable.

The result, predictably enough, was huge deficits, about which Republicans shed crocodile tears, but did almost nothing.

As to Skiddy, he continued at intervals to shed crocodile tears over his past short-comings, or rather his short-goings!

He died of a broken heart, and all Fuzby built his conspicuous tomb, and shed crocodile tears over his pious memory.

Crocodile tears though they often are, they have an effect on me which is more than peculiar.

You've been whimpering like a whipped cur, trying to arouse a lot of sympathy with your crocodile tears.

He brought forth crocodile tears for the death of his father-in-law.

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Definitions and idiom definitions from Dictionary.com Unabridged, based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

Idioms from The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.

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