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What would the most apt translation for the word "hypocrite" be in German?

In the Duden the word Hypokrit does exist, though I believe it is used very rarely.

Some other online dictionaries translate it as "Heuchler", though that doesn't really describe the pretense that lies in the meaning of hypocrite.

I have also read that "jemand der eine Doppelmoral hat" is an alternative way of describing a hypocrite.

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Ich glaube, wir haben kein ebenso eingängiges Wort für jemanden, der Wasser predigt und Wein trinkt. – Carsten S Mar 23 '14 at 1:49
up vote 10 down vote accepted

I agree with Marcus Schaetzles comment. The most accurate and common used translations are in this order:

  1. Heuchler/in {m/f}
  2. Pharisäer {m}
  3. Scheinheiliger/Scheinheilige {m/f}

Also these are notable in addition, but rather rarely used and heard:

  1. Frömmler {m/f}
  2. Duckmäuser {m}
  3. Hypokrit {m}

Questions and answers, related to and based on 'Etymology' + 'Onomastic' should always refer to dictionaries queries, imo, therefore:

hypocrite [I. \ˈhipəˌkrit, usu -id.+V\ noun]


  • Middle English ipocrite,
  • from Old French ypocrite,
  • from Late Latin hypocrita,
  • from Greek hypokritēs, actor on the stage, pretender, hypocrite, from hypokrinesthai


One who pretends to be what he is not or to have principles or beliefs that he does not have; especially: One who falsely assumes an appearance of virtue or religion:

I dare swear he is no hypocrite, but prays from his heart — Shakespeare 

Source: Webster's Unabridged Dictionary

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