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.
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)
3 . NOT REAL
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.
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:
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?
▪ 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.
▪ 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.
▪ spurious /ˈspjʊəriəs $ ˈspjʊr-/ false and giving a wrong impression about someone or something:
That’s a spurious argument.
The company was trying to get some spurious respectability by using our name.