I am looking for a word to let others understand that somebody is a person who does exactly the opposite of what he speaks. Is there any word for this?

  • 2
    There are a few ways to call or describe that person such as "faker", "poser", "two-faced", "disingenuous", but Barrie's "hypocrite" is probably the best one-word answer (IMO) Commented Jan 19, 2013 at 11:41
  • 2
    That depends. If you mean somebody says he goes golfing on Friday afternoons but doesn’t, he’s simply a liar. If he meant to do so, but didn’t make it, then this is someone who can’t keep his commitments.
    – tchrist
    Commented Jan 19, 2013 at 11:51

5 Answers 5


The word that comes closest is probably hypocrite.

  • This is almost assuredly the word the O.P. wants. After looking over the word's synonyms, most of those involve trickery and deceit, while hypocrisy carrys the notion of being the complete opposite of "practicing what you preach." I'd wager hypocrite is the first word that popped into the minds of 99% of the native speakers who read this question's title.
    – J.R.
    Commented Jan 19, 2013 at 11:45

In a more literary way, Tartuffe or Pharisee.

  • As a result of Molière's play, contemporary French and English both use the word tartuffe to designate a hypocrite who ostensibly and exaggeratedly feigns virtue.

  • A pharisee is a self-righteous or hypocritical person who does not ​care about ​others.


That sounds like your average politician to me.

It’s hard to give you a word for this without more context in how you wish to use it as there’s a number of words that would fit your description:

Deceitful, insincere, two-faced, false, duplicitous etc.


A dissembler is a person who makes false appearance. One of Wordnik's sources has this usage note:

Synonyms Dissembler, Hypocrite. A dissembler is one who tries to conceal what he is; a hypocrite, one who tries to make himself appear to be what he is not, especially to seem better than he is.

So which word would be the better of those two would depend on how much the individuals in question are actively portraying themselves to be someone they are not. In other words, are they merely hiding their true nature? Or actively pretending to be the opposite of how they really are?


This sounds like a contradictory person:

asserting the contrary or opposite; contradicting; inconsistent; logically opposite: contradictory statements.

Hypocrite would be a good word if the man in question is malicious. But you didn't indicate if this man is exhibiting this behavior in a morally-neutral sense or not.

  • 1
    I don't feel like hyprocrite only applies to those who are malicious
    – depperm
    Commented Aug 1, 2017 at 19:31
  • @depperm How so?
    – whitewings
    Commented Aug 3, 2017 at 11:40
  • anyone can be a hypocrite (the definition doesn't mention malicious), a lazy person could be a hypocrite, a crazy person, a child, or even a normal person who just forgets in the moment what they preached.
    – depperm
    Commented Aug 3, 2017 at 12:07

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