Definition of hypocrisy in English:



  • [mass noun] The practice of claiming to have higher standards or more noble beliefs than is the case.

    ‘his target was the hypocrisy of suburban life’
    ‘she was irritated to be accused of hypocrisy’
    ‘spokesmen unversed in the smoother hypocrisies of diplomacy’
    • ‘I myself have had problems with American politics and hypocrisy since I was a small child.’
    • ‘There's almost as much hypocrisy in the present government as there is in the church.’
    • ‘The way society views the whole drug scene is riddled with hypocrisy and double standards.’
    • ‘At the same time, the artist alludes to the real world, having it out with hypocrisy and duplicity.’
    • ‘This book also does a tremendous job of exposing the corruption and hypocrisy of big business.’
    • ‘Something must be done about this, if we are not to continue in our habitual posture of concerned hypocrisy.’
    • ‘As for the authorities, surely there's a level of hypocrisy or humbug at the least.’
    • ‘The fact that she is an impostor makes an incredibly ironic point about hypocrisy.’
    • ‘The slaughter of men, women and children has been concealed by military and religious hypocrisy.’
    • ‘There has certainly been too much misguided media management, some hypocrisy and even sleaze.’
    • ‘There's a lot of hypocrisy from the government about crime and what is happening in the inner cities.’
    • ‘Chao's hostility to politicians stems from what he considers their intrinsic hypocrisy.’
    • ‘So, on top of everything else, there seems to be a case of political hypocrisy here.’
    • ‘The words we hear from our leaders are a daily diet of lies, spin and hypocrisy.’
    • ‘The common factor among the marchers was a rejection of cant, lies and hypocrisy.’
    • ‘Here is a fine example of journalistic hypocrisy, and you can never know that this is a sin I am guilty of.’
    • ‘They will be exposed for things called hypocrisy and cant, and they will not get away with it.’
    • ‘There is an important point to be made about so-called sexual hypocrisy in government.’
    • ‘Dislike of the clergy, accused of hypocrisy and worse, was of ancient origins.’
    • ‘However, as with the infant formula companies, the industry stands accused of hypocrisy.’
    sanctimoniousness, sanctimony, pietism, piousness, affected piety, affected superiority, false virtue, cant, humbug, pretence, posturing, speciousness, empty talk
    insincerity, falseness, falsity, deceptiveness, deceit, deceitfulness, deception, dishonesty, dissembling, dissimulation, duplicity, imposture, two-facedness, double-dealing
    pharisaism, tartufferie
    View synonyms


Middle English: from Old French ypocrisie, via ecclesiastical Latin, from Greek hupokrisis acting of a theatrical part, from hupokrinesthai play a part, pretend, from hupo under + krinein decide, judge.