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hypocrisy

[hi-pok-ruh-see] /hɪˈpɒk rə si/
noun, plural hypocrisies.
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.
3.
an act or instance of hypocrisy.
Origin
1175-1225
1175-1225; Middle English ipocrisie < Old French < Late Latin hypocrisis < Greek hypókrisis play acting, equivalent to hypokrī́(nesthai) to play a part, explain (hypo- hypo- + krī́nein to distinguish, separate) + -sis -sis; h- (reintroduced in 16th century) < Latin and Greek
Related forms
hyperhypocrisy, noun
Synonyms
1. See deceit.
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for hypocrisies

hypocrisy

/hɪˈpɒkrəsɪ/
noun (pl) -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
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Word Origin and History for hypocrisies

hypocrisy

n.

c.1200, ipocrisie, from Old French ypocrisie, from Late Latin hypocrisis, from Greek hypokrisis "acting on the stage, pretense," from hypokrinesthai "play a part, pretend," also "answer," from hypo- "under" (see sub-) + middle voice of krinein "to sift, decide" (see crisis). The sense evolution in Attic Greek is from "separate gradually" to "answer" to "answer a fellow actor on stage" to "play a part." The h- was restored in English 16c.

Hypocrisy is the art of affecting qualities for the purpose of pretending to an undeserved virtue. Because individuals and institutions and societies most often live down to the suspicions about them, hypocrisy and its accompanying equivocations underpin the conduct of life. Imagine how frightful truth unvarnished would be. [Benjamin F. Martin, "France in 1938," 2005]

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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