Definition of crocodile tears in English:

crocodile tears

Line breaks: croco|dile tears


  • Tears or expressions of sorrow that are insincere: they weep crocodile tears for the poor and disadvantaged, but are basically happy with things as they are
    More example sentences
    • Some people thought his tears were crocodile tears.
    • As the coffin is carried inside for the tear-jerking ceremony, Hillman weeps crocodile tears and tells Emily: ‘I am so sorry about this terrible news’, then guides her into church.
    • There were tears there but I thought they were crocodile tears.


mid 16th century: said to be so named from a belief that crocodiles wept while devouring or luring their prey.

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