crocodile tear

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crocodile tear (plural crocodile tears)

  1. (idiomatic, often pluralized) A tear shed insincerely, in a false display of sorrow or some other emotion.
    • 1877, Charles Reade, The Woman Hater, ch. 2:
      At last he contrived to squeeze out one of his little hysterical tears, and drop it on her hand. Now, the girl was not butter, like some of her sex; far from it: but neither was she wood—indeed, she was not old enough for that—so this crocodile tear won her for the time being.


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