The act of being deceitful or dishonest, especially by saying or doing one thing while pretending to feel or think something else.


US English

UK English

Part of Speech



deception, deceit, dishonesty, fraud, trickery, hypocrisy, double-dealing


honesty, sincerity, straightforwardness, truthfulness

Word Forms

Part of Speech Words
Noun duplicities, duplicity
Verb None
Adjective duplicitous
Adverb None

Example Sentences

  • The politician was caught in an act of duplicity when it was discovered that he was secretly taking bribes from corporations.

  • Her behavior revealed a level of duplicity that was surprising to everyone who knew her.

  • The company’s management was accused of duplicity for claiming to care about employee safety while ignoring safety regulations.

  • The spy’s duplicity made it difficult for anyone to trust him, even his own colleagues.


The word “duplicity” is used to describe the act of being deceitful or dishonest. It is often used in formal contexts, such as legal or political settings, but can also be used in everyday language to describe situations in which someone is not being truthful. The word has a negative connotation and is usually associated with behavior that is considered unethical or immoral.

The word “duplicity” is derived from the Latin word “duplicitas,” which means “doubleness.” The root word “duplic-” can be found in other words as well, such as “duplicate,” which means to make an exact copy of something. The suffix “-ity” is commonly added to words to turn them into nouns that describe a state or quality.

The word “duplicity” can also be combined with other prefixes and suffixes to create new words with related meanings. For example, the prefix “bi-” can be added to create the word “bipartisanship,” which means the cooperation between two political parties that have different beliefs or ideologies. The suffix “-ous” can be added to create the word “duplicitous,” which is another term for someone who is deceitful or dishonest.

Overall, the word “duplicity” is a powerful word that is used to describe behavior that is considered deceitful or dishonest. It is a useful word that can be used in a wide variety of contexts, and its negative connotation makes it an effective tool for criticizing or condemning behavior that is considered unethical or immoral.