130 Hypocrisy Quotes to Spot Hypocrites

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Hypocrisy is always aggravating to deal with. These hypocrisy quotes will help you see through the hypocrites and not become one yourself.

Hypocrisy involves pretending we feel one way when we really feel another, of adamantly feigning a set of values that we don’t live up to ourselves.

The two-faced nature of hypocrisy makes hypocrites the worst kind of fake people.

It’s easy to get mad when people don’t practice what they preach. Instead, use these hypocrisy quotes to outmaneuver them and avoid duplicity in your own actions today.

Top 10 Hypocrisy Quotes

Hypocrisy is the audacity to preach integrity from a den of corruption.

Wes Fesler

Hypocrisy is a fashionable vice, and all fashionable vices pass for virtue.

Francois de La Rochefoucauld quote "Hypocrisy is the homage vice pays to virtue"
“Hypocrisy is the homage vice pays to virtue.” – Francois de La Rochefoucauld

No task is more difficult than systematic hypocrisy.

Eddie George

People are very inclined to set moral standards for others.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Hypocrisy is the outward acknowledgment of inward shame.

Norm Macdonald

It is always easier to fight for one’s principles than to live up to them.

Alfred Adler
Christine Keeler quote "Discretion is the polite word for hypocrisy"
“Discretion is the polite word for hypocrisy.” – Christine Keeler

It is easy for men to talk one thing and think another.

Publilius Syrus

Superstition, idolatry, and hypocrisy have ample wages, but truth goes a begging.

Martin Luther

Quotes about Hypocrisy

Hypocrisy puts a strain on all relationships when it’s discovered. When we know someone is pretending to be something they’re not, it is incredibly difficult to trust them.

Others may feel the same way about us when they catch us violating our own morals or values. This list of hypocrisy quotes highlights its dangers and also shows how to avoid them.

Hypocrisy in anything whatever may deceive the cleverest and most penetrating man, but the least wide-awake of children recognizes it, and is revolted by it, however ingeniously it may be disguised.

Leo Tolstoy

In England the only homage which they pay to Virtue – is hypocrisy.

Lord Byron

Hypocrisy is the most difficult and nerve-racking vice that any man can pursue; it needs an unceasing vigilance and a rare detachment of spirit. It cannot, like adultery or gluttony, be practiced at spare moments; it is a whole-time job.

W. Somerset Maugham

Truth without love is brutality, and love without truth is hypocrisy.

Warren W. Wiersbe
Edwin Chapin quote "Ostentation is the signal flag of hypocrisy"
“Ostentation is the signal flag of hypocrisy.” – Edwin Hubbel Chapin

When men think and believe in one set of symbols and act in ways which are contrary to their professed and conscious ideas, confusion and insincerity are bound to result.

John Dewey

I feel like a big faker because I’ve been putting my life back together, and nobody knows.

Stephen Chbosky

Hypocrisy is a permission slip to our morals, telling them to take a holiday.

F. H. Buckley

There are moments when one has to choose between living one’s own life, fully, entirely, completely-or dragging out some false, shallow, degrading existence that the world in its hypocrisy demands.

Oscar Wilde

Time passes and you begin to see, people for who they really are and not who they pretend to be.

Scarlet Koop

Stand up to hypocrisy. If you don’t, the hypocrites will teach. Stand up to ignorance, because if you don’t, the ignorant will run free to spread ignorance like a disease. Stand up for Truth! If you don’t, there is no Truth to your existence. If you don’t stand up for all that is right, then understand that you are part of the reason that there is so much wrong in the world.

Suzy Kassem

There is so much hypocrisy in sports.

Dennis Rodman

All bad precedents begin as justifiable measures.

Julius Caesar

Those who make use of devotion as a means and end generally are hypocrites.

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

There are three things in the world that deserve no mercy: hypocrisy, fraud, and tyranny.

Frederick William Robertson
Francoise d'Aubigne quote "Sin is not so sinful as hypocrisy"
“Sin is not so sinful as hypocrisy.” – Francoise d’Aubigne, Marquise de Maintenon

Hypocrisy is oftenest clothed in the garb of religion.

Hosea Ballou

The difference between my darkness and your darkness is that I can look at my own badness in the face and accept its existence while you are busy covering your mirror with a white linen sheet.

C. JoyBell C.

Sometimes it’s not the person who changes, it’s the mask that falls off.

Mhaj Porras

Hypocrisy is like this: she has a face of burnished gold and an eye of pleasing crystal, but on the inside of her heart all is of lead, flat and useless.

John Gower

You cannot expect to live a positive life if you hang with negative people.

Joel Osteen

The only vice that cannot be forgiven is hypocrisy. The repentance of a hypocrite is itself hypocrisy.

William Hazlitt

No man for any considerable period can wear one face to himself and another to the multitude, without finally getting bewildered as to which may be the true.

Nathaniel Hawthorne

Hypocrisy is nothing, in fact, but a horrible hopefulness.

Victor Hugo

Liberty is the right of every man to be honest, to think and to speak without hypocrisy.

Jose Marti

Hypocrisy: prejudice with a halo.

Ambrose Bierce
William Bates quote "Hypocrisy is a spiritual pollution"
“Hypocrisy is a spiritual pollution.” – William Bates

The essence of immorality is the tendency to make an exception of myself.

Jane Addams

History consists, for the greater part, of the miseries brought upon the world by pride, ambition, avarice, revenge, lust, sedition, hypocrisy, ungoverned zeal, and all the train of disorderly appetite.

Edmund Burke

Hypocrisy is the resin that holds the plywood of society together.

Scott Meyer

Hypocrisy has its own elegant symmetry.

Julie Metz

The core problem of hypocrisy is that it precludes the accurate appraisal of moral worth, privileging appearance over reality.

Ronald C. Naso

The idea of democracy has been stripped of it moral imperatives and come to denote hollowness and hypocrisy.

Paul Wellstone

When a man has so far corrupted and prostituted the chastity of his mind, as to profess things he does not believe, he has prepared himself for the commission of every other crime.

Thomas Paine

Literature is one vast hypocrisy, a giant deception, treachery. All writers have concealed more than they revealed.

Anais Nin

Corruption and hypocrisy ought not to be inevitable products of democracy, as they undoubtedly are today.

Mahatma Gandhi

Where there is no religion, hypocrisy becomes good taste.

George Berard Shaw
Balzac quote "Manners are the hypocrisy of a nation"
“Manners are the hypocrisy of a nation.” – Honoré de Balzac

Hypocrisy is the necessary burden of villainy.

Samuel Johnson

To be thankful for what we grasp exceeding our proportion is to add hypocrisy to injustice.

Charles Lamb

Most of us are aware of and pretend to detest the barefaced instances of that hypocrisy by which men deceive others, but few of us are upon our guard or see that more fatal hypocrisy by which we deceive and over-reach our own hearts.

Laurence Sterne

Hypocrisy, like a fever, boils up within while being cold without. What dropsy is for the body, hypocrisy is for the soul.

Peter Chrysologus

Hypocrisy, the lie, is the true sister of evil, intolerance, and cruelty.

Raisa Gorbacheva

Hypocrisy is the essence of snobbery, but all snobbery is about the problem of belonging.

Alexander Theroux

Every man alone is sincere. At the entrance of a second person, hypocrisy begins.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

How clever you are, my dear! You never mean a single word you say.

Oscar Wilde

Hypocrisy is the scarlet letter in politics.

Mark McKinnon

When I saw corruption, I was forced to find truth on my own. I couldn’t swallow the hypocrisy.

Barry White
Mo Rocca quote "Hypocrisy is great fodder for comedy"
“Hypocrisy is great fodder for comedy.” – Mo Rocca

Hypocrisy is the most difficult and nerve-racking vice that any man can pursue; it needs an unceasing vigilance and a rare detachment of spirit. It cannot, like adultery or gluttony, be practiced at spare moments; it is a whole-time job.

W. Somerset Maugham

Hypocrisy in anything whatever may deceive the cleverest and most penetrating man, but the least wide-awake of children recognizes it, and is revolted by it, however ingeniously it may be disguised.

Leo Tolstoy

An election is coming. Universal peace is declared and the foxes have a sincere interest in prolonging the lives of the poultry.

T. S. Eliot

An once of hypocrisy is worth a pound of ambition.

Michael Korda

No habit or quality is more easily acquired than hypocrisy, nor any thing sooner learned than to deny the sentiments of our hearts and the principle we act from: but the seeds of every passion are innate to us, and nobody comes into the world without them.

Bernard de Mandeville

What’s wrong with our children? Adults telling children to be honest while lying and cheating. Adults telling children to not be violent while marketing and glorifying violence… I believe that adult hypocrisy is the biggest problem children face in America.

Marian Wright Edelman

It is easier to pretend to be what you are not than to hide what you really are; but he that can accomplish both has little to learn in hypocrisy.

Charles Caleb Colton

All of us are experts at practicing virtue at a distance.

Theodore Hesburgh

Hypocrite Quotes

The only thing worse than a liar is a liar that’s also a hypocrite!

Tennessee Williams

No power can be maintained when it is only represented by hypocrites.

Friedrich Nietzsche

He is a hypocrite who professes what he does not believe; not he who does not practice all he wishes or approves.

William Hazlitt
"Only the hypocrite is really rotten to the core"
“Only the hypocrite is really rotten to the core.” – Hannah Arendt

They’re not happy for you because they wish it was them.

Carlos Wallace

We ought to see far enough into a hypocrite to see even his sincerity.

Thomas Fuller

I learned that very often the most intolerant and narrow-minded people are the ones who congratulate themselves on their tolerance and open-mindedness.

Christopher Hitchens

Hypocrites are those who apply to others the standards that they refuse to accept for themselves.

Noam Chomsky

For if anyone thinks he is something, when he is nothing, he deceives himself.

Galatians 6:3, ESV

Most of our faults are more pardonable than the means we use to conceal them.

Francois de La Rochefoucauld

When you delete hypocrites from your life, good things will start happening and it won’t be a coincidence.

Paolo Coelho

He that puts on a religious habit abroad to gain himself a great name among men, and at the same time lives like an atheist at home, shall at the last be uncovered by God and presented before all the world for a most outrageous hypocrite.

Thomas Brooks

The true hypocrite is the one who ceases to perceive his deception, the one who lies with sincerity.

Andre Gide

A hypocrite is the kind of politician who would cut down a redwood tree, then mount the stump and make a speech for conservation.

Adlai Stevenson

Hypocrite: The man who murdered his parents, and then pleaded for mercy on the grounds that he was an orphan.

Abraham Lincoln

A hypocrite despises those whom he deceives, but has no respect for himself. He would make a dupe of himself too, if he could.

William Hazlitt
"Whatever you condemn, you have done yourself"
“Whatever you condemn, you have done yourself.” – Georg Groddeck

The hypocrite who always plays one and the same part ceases at last to be a hypocrite.

Friedrich Nietzsche

What’s the whole point of being pretty on the outside when you’re so ugly on the inside?

Jess C. Scott

Hypocrisy is folly. It is much easier, safer, and pleasanter to be the thing which a man aims to appear, than to keep up the appearance of being what he is not.

Lord David Cecil

If Satan ever laughs, it must be at hypocrites; they are the greatest dupes he has.

Charles Caleb Colton

Those who parade piety as a purpose and an aim mostly turn into hypocrites.

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Loud indignation against vice often stands for virtue in the eyes of bigots.

Jean Antoine Petit-Senn

With people of limited ability modesty is merely honesty. But with those who possess great talent it is hypocrisy.

Arthur Schopenhauer

All reformers, however strict their social conscience, live in houses just as big as they can pay for.

Logan Pearsall Smith

We are always making God our accomplice, that so we may legalize our own iniquities.

Henri Frederic Amiel

The three kinds of people I dislike most are Gossips, Liars, and Hypocrites.

Carole Radziwill

In all ages, hypocrites, called priests, have put crowns upon the heads of thieves, called kings.

Robert Green Ingersoll
Euripides quote "Often a noble face hides filthy ways"
“Often a noble face hides filthy ways.” – Euripides

Man is the only animal that learns by being hypocritical. He pretends to be polite and then, eventually, he becomes polite.

Jean Kerr

Many a man’s reputation would not know his character if they met on the street.

Elbert Hubbard

People will disapprove of you if you’re unhappy, or if you’re happy in the wrong way.

Mignon McLaughlin

A hypocrite is a studied cheat – an imposter – a knave – a made fool, and one who generally finds himself the worst cheated, at last.

Able Brewster

I have more respect for a man who lets me know where he stands, even if he’s wrong, than the one who comes up like an angel and is nothing but a devil.

Malcolm X

A hypocrite is in himself both the archer and the mark, in all actions shooting at his own praise or profit.

Thomas Fuller

There is nothing more aggravating than a hypocrite.

Farley Granger,
They Call Me Trinity

Don’t Be Hypocritical

The greatest way to live with honor in this world is to be what we pretend to be.


I am learning that the best cure for hypocrisy is community. Hypocrisy is not so much the result of not living what I preach but much more of not confessing my inability to fully live up to my own words.

Henri Nouwen

Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself.

Leo Tolstoy

Clean your finger before you point at my spots.

Benjamin Franklin

Sincerity makes the very least person to be of more value than the most talented hypocrite.

Charles Spurgeon

Hypocrisy is a proud desire to appear better than you are. Be thoroughly humbled and vile in your own eyes, and hypocrisy is done.

Richard Baxter
"Live truth instead of professing it"
“Live truth instead of professing it.” – Elbert Hubbard

Be as you wish to seem.


Mathematics allows for no hypocrisy and no vagueness.


Honest discussions – even and perhaps especially on topics about which we disagree – can help us resist hypocrisy and arrogance. They can also help us live up to the basic ideals, such as liberty and justice for all, on which our country was founded.

David Price

Kids have what I call a built-in hypocrisy antenna that comes up and blocks out what you’re saying when you’re being a hypocrite.

Dr. Ben Carson

Our fear of hypocrisy is forcing us to live in a world where gluttons are fine, so long as they champion gluttony.

Jonah Goldberg

For neither man nor angel can discern hypocrisy, the only evil that walks invisible, except to God alone.

John Milton

The world’s flattery and hypocrisy is a sweet morsel: eat less of it, for it is full of fire. Its fire is hidden while its taste is manifest, but its smoke becomes visible in the end.


Expecting the world to treat you fairly because you are a good person is a little like expecting the bull not to attack you because you are a vegetarian.

Dennis Wholey

Be careful when you fight the monsters, lest you become one.

Friedrich Nietzsche

Ask any of my teammates. I never asked any of them to do something I wasn’t willing to do myself.

Michael Jordan

This world is so full of hypocrisy, the only way you can be honest is to be a hermit.

Pete Seger

Candor and accountability in a democracy is very important. Hypocrisy has no place.

Alan Dershowitz

You can preach a better sermon with your life than with your lips.

Oliver Goldsmith
James Laver quote "Nothing is more revealing of an age than its hypocrisies"
“Nothing is more revealing of an age than its hypocrisies.” – James Laver

Avoid the base hypocrisy of condemning in one man what you pass over in silence when committed by another.

Teddy Roosevelt

He who is passionate and hasty is generally honest. It is your cool, dissembling hypocrite of whom you should beware.

Johann Kaspar Lavater

Satire was evidently designed by Heaven for the purpose of unveiling hypocrites and rendering the vile ridiculous.

Able Brewster

Hypocrisy is folly; for it is much easier, safer, and pleasanter to be the thing which a man seems to appear, than to keep up the appearance of being what he is not.

Lord Burleigh

Since we are all naturally prone to hypocrisy, any empty semblance of righteousness is quite enough to satisfy us instead of righteousness itself.

John Calvin

Trust him with none of thy individualities who is, or pretends to be, two things at once.

Johann Kaspar Lavater

All of us have to be prevaricators, hypocrites, and liars every day of our lives; otherwise the social structure would fall into pieces the first day. We must act in one another’s presence just as we must wear clothes. It is for the best.

O. Henry,
An Early Parable

Why lie? I’m not going to be a hypocrite and say the opposite of what I think, like some others do.

Christiano Ronaldo

I think we need to look at ourselves first. We should practice what we’re preaching. Otherwise, we are hypocrites.

Mo Ibrahim

These hypocrisy quotes should have you equipped to deal with hypocrites more effectively.

Being hypocritical is not an endearing trait when others find out. How can we expect anyone to believe our intentions when we don’t do what we expect others to do?

Instead, be true to yourself and your ideals before expecting others to be. Then life will get easier and the hypocritical people will bother you even less than before.

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Quincy Seale

Quincy is KIM's editor, and has collected and shared inspiring quotes and stories since 2005. Quincy holds an MBA from the University of Dundee and an MSc from the University of Edinburgh, and lives in San Antonio with his wife Natalie, son Alex, and his dog Oban.