- the practice of professing standards, beliefs, etc, contrary to one's real character or actual behaviour, esp the pretence of virtue and piety
- an act or instance of this
WordReference Random House Learner's Dictionary of American English © 2016
- an act or instance of pretending to have desirable qualities or views that one does not really possess.
n., pl. -sies.
- a pretense of having a virtuous character, moral or religious beliefs or principles, etc., that one does not really possess.
- a pretense of having some desirable or publicly approved attitude.
- an act or instance of hypocrisy.
- Latin and Greek
- Greek hypókrisis play acting, equivalent. to hypokrí̄(nesthai) to play a part, explain (hypo- hypo- + krí̄nein to distinguish, separate) + -sis -sis; h- (reintroduced in 16th century)
- Late Latin hypocrisis
- Old French
- Middle English ipocrisie 1175–1225