Meaning of FALSE in English

false W3 /fɔːls $ fɒːls/ BrE AmE adjective

[ Date: 900-1000 ; Language: Latin ; Origin: falsus , from fallere 'to deceive' ]

1 . UNTRUE a statement, story etc that is false is completely untrue:

Please decide whether the following statements are true or false.

false accusations


In everyday English, people usually say not true rather than false , apart from in the fixed expression true or false :

▪ What he said was false. ➔ What he said was not true.

2 . WRONG based on incorrect information or ideas:

I don’t want to give you any false hopes.

The statement gives us a false impression that we understand something when we do not.

false assumptions about people of other cultures

a false sense of security (=a feeling of being safe when you are not really safe)


a) not real, but intended to seem real and deceive people:

The drugs were hidden in a suitcase with a false bottom.

The man had given a false name and address.

b) artificial

false teeth/hair/eyelashes etc

4 . NOT SINCERE not sincere or honest, and pretending to have feelings that you do not really have:

She’s so false.

a false laugh

‘You played brilliantly.’ ‘Not really,’ Ian replied with false modesty.

5 . false economy something that you think will save you money but which will really cost you more:

It’s a false economy not to have travel insurance.

6 . under false pretences if you get something under false pretences, you get it by deceiving people:

He was accused of obtaining money under false pretences.

7 . false move/step a small movement or action that will result in harm:

One false move and you’re dead.

8 . false imprisonment/arrest the illegal act of putting someone in prison or ↑ arrest ing them for a crime they have not committed

• • •


▪ false not real, but intended to seem real and deceive people:

He uses a false name.

▪ fake made to look or seem like something else, especially something worth a lot more money:

fake fur


a fake Rolex watch


fake designer goods


a fake $100 bill

▪ forged a forged official document or bank note has been illegally made to look like a real one:

a forged passport


a forged £50 note

▪ counterfeit /ˈkaʊntəfɪt $ -tər-/ counterfeit money or goods have been illegally made to look exactly like something else:

How do you detect counterfeit currency?


counterfeit drugs

▪ imitation made to look real – used especially about guns, bombs etc or about materials:

The two men used an imitation firearm to carry out the robbery.


imitation leather/silk/silver

▪ phoney/phony /ˈfəʊni $ ˈfoʊ-/ disapproving informal false – used when you think someone is deliberately trying to deceive people:

She put on a phoney New York accent.


The doctors were accused of supplying phoney medical certificates.


There’s something phoney about him.


phony advertisements

▪ spurious /ˈspjʊəriəs $ ˈspjʊr-/ false and giving a wrong impression about someone or something:

spurious claims


That’s a spurious argument.


The company was trying to get some spurious respectability by using our name.

Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English.      Longman - Словарь современного английского языка.