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Word of the Day
Thursday, March 02, 2017

Definitions for crocodilian

  1. hypocritical; insincere.
  2. of, like, or pertaining to a crocodile.
  3. any reptile of the order Crocodylia, comprising the true crocodiles and the alligators, caimans, and gavials.

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Citations for crocodilian
The crocodilian concern with the lower classes and their subsidy of middle-class students (who are fighting to extend such subsidies to lower-class children) is authentic "old-time" common sense at the zenith of coherence. Marvin Harris, "Campus Confusion: To the Editor," New York Times, January 5, 1969
He smiled. It was a cold, crocodilian smile. Sam Llewellyn, Clawhammer, 1993
Origin of crocodilian
1625-1635
Crocodilian can mean "hypocritical, insincere." The insincerity of crocodiles has been noted since ancient times and is also reflected in the term "crocodile tears" (crocodiles supposedly weep for the victims they are eating). Crocodile tears are mentioned in a collection of ancient Greek proverbs attributed to Plutarch (a.d. c46–c120). The proverbs compare the crocodiles’ behavior to that of people who desire or cause the misfortune or death of others but afterward publicly mourn them. Crocodilian entered English in the 17th century.