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  1. 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.
  2. a person who feigns some desirable or publicly approved attitude, especially one whose private life, opinions, or statements belie his or her public statements.
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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 formshyp·o·crit·i·cal, adjectivesu·per·hyp·o·crite, noun


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Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words

bigot, trickster, impostor, phony, crook, charlatan, cheat, faker, hook, fake, decoy, actor, mountebank, informer, pretender, malingerer, poser, quack, humbug, fraud

Examples from the Web for hypocrite

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British Dictionary definitions for hypocrite


  1. a person who pretends to be what he is not
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Derived Formshypocritical, adjectivehypocritically, 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

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).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper