One who plays a part; especially, one who, for the purpose of winning approbation of favor, puts on a fair outside seeming; one who feigns to be other and better than he is; a false pretender to virtue or piety; one who simulates virtue or piety. "The hypocrite's hope shall perish." (Job viii. 13) "I dare swear he is no hypocrite, but prays from his heart." (Shak)

Synonyms: Deceiver, pretender, cheat. See Dissembler.

Origin: F, fr. L. Hypocrita, Gr. One who plays a part on the stage, a dissembler, feigner. See Hypocrisy.

(01 Mar 1998)