[ hi-pok-ruh-see ]
See synonyms for hypocrisy on Thesaurus.com
noun,plural hy·poc·ri·sies.
  1. a pretense of having a virtuous character, moral or religious beliefs or principles, etc., that one does not really possess.

  2. a pretense of having some desirable or publicly approved attitude.

  1. an act or instance of hypocrisy.

Origin of hypocrisy

First recorded in 1175–1225; Middle English ipocrisie, from Old French, from Late Latin hypocrisis, from Greek hypókrisis “play acting,” from hypokrī(nesthai)́ “to play a part, explain” (from hypo- hypo- + krī́nein “to distinguish, separate”) + -sis -sis

synonym study For hypocrisy

1. See duplicity.

Other words from hypocrisy

  • hy·per·hy·poc·ri·sy, noun

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use hypocrisy in a sentence

  • Very few faults of architecture are mistakes of honest choice: they are almost always hypocrisies.

  • These nave and threadbare "hypocrisies" of crowds are a commonplace mechanism of the unconscious.

    The Behavior of Crowds | Everett Dean Martin
  • In this fashion the two ladies open their hearts, and contrive to read one another perfectly in their mutual hypocrisies.

    Evan Harrington, Complete | George Meredith
  • And I want to say to you now—I am sorry from my heart for that, and the many other hypocrisies you know I have been guilty of.

    Rutledge | Miriam Coles Harris
  • What prohibitions, what hypocrisies, what responsibilities, what sorrows!

    Soliloquies in England | George Santayana

British Dictionary definitions for hypocrisy


/ (hɪˈpɒkrəsɪ) /

nounplural -sies
  1. the practice of professing standards, beliefs, etc, contrary to one's real character or actual behaviour, esp the pretence of virtue and piety

  2. an act or instance of this

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