Lacking in honesty or integrity; deceitful


US English

UK English

Part of Speech



deceitful, fraudulent, insincere, mendacious, underhanded


sincere, honest, truthful, straightforward, aboveboard

Word Forms

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

Example Sentences

  • The politician’s duplicitous behavior was exposed when leaked documents revealed his secret financial dealings.

  • She regretted trusting her duplicitous friend, who pretended to be supportive but spread rumors behind her back.

  • The company’s duplicitous advertising tactics misled consumers into purchasing low-quality products.

  • His duplicitous nature was evident as he made contradictory promises to different stakeholders in order to gain personal advantage.


The word “duplicitous” is an adjective used to describe someone or something that is deceitful, dishonest, or two-faced. It stems from the Latin term “duplicare,” meaning “to double” or “to deceive.” The prefix “du-” suggests a sense of duality or double-dealing, emphasizing the concept of duplicity.

The usage of “duplicitous” pertains to individuals who exhibit a deliberate and deceptive nature, often hiding their true intentions or presenting a false image. It implies a lack of sincerity, trustworthiness, or integrity, as those described as duplicitous engage in deceitful practices or manipulate others for personal gain.

The suffix “-ous” in “duplicitous” signifies possessing or characterized by a particular quality. It emphasizes the extent or intensity of the duplicity exhibited by the subject.

Variations of the word “duplicitous” include the noun form “duplicitousness,” which denotes the state or quality of being duplicitous, and the adverb form “duplicitously,” describing actions or behaviors that are characteristic of duplicitousness.

Understanding the history and usage of “duplicitous” reminds us of the importance of trust, transparency, and authenticity in our interactions with others. It serves as a reminder to be wary of those who may engage in deceptive practices or manipulate others for personal gain. Encouraging open communication, honesty, and ethical conduct can help foster genuine and trustworthy relationships.