"deceptiveness, character or practice of speaking differently of the same thing or acting differently at different times or to different persons," early 15c., from Old French duplicite (13c.), from Late Latin duplicitatem (nominative duplicitas) "doubleness," in Medieval Latin "ambiguity," noun of quality from duplex (genitive duplicis) "twofold," from duo "two" (from PIE root *dwo- "two") + -plex, from PIE root *plek- "to plait." The notion is "a state of being double" in one's conduct (compare Greek diploos "treacherous, double-minded," literally "twofold, double").
updated on October 19, 2018
Dictionary entries near duplicity