Meaning of FALSE in English

I. ˈfȯls also -lts adjective

( -er/-est )

Etymology: Middle English fals, faus, from Old French & Latin; Old French fals, faus, from Latin falsus, past participle of fallere to deceive — more at fail


a. : not corresponding to truth or reality : not true : erroneous , incorrect

his assumption that this is the only possible interpretation is demonstrably false — M.R.Cohen

b. : intentionally untrue : lying

false claims are frequently made of automobile ownership — S.L.Payne

the false testimony of suborned witnesses


a. : speaking falsehood : not truthful : dishonest , deceitful

slanders of her false accusers — Shakespeare

especially heavy consequences for people … attracted to unworthy, false , and callous persons — H.E.Salisbury


(1) : made or tampered with to deceive

false scales

false dice

false bottom of a glass

(2) archaic : tending to distort : defective

tears are false spectacles — John Donne

(3) : inaccurate in pitch : out of tune

c. : tending to mislead : deceptive , illusory

the false warmth of the January thaw — Louis Bromfield

3. : not faithful or loyal (as to obligations, allegiance, or vows) : treacherous , perfidious

a false friend

a false lover



(1) : being other than what is purported or apparent : assumed or designed to deceive : not genuine or real : counterfeit , artificial , sham , forged, specious

false tears

false modesty

privateersmen sailing under false colors

false deeds of ownership

the false glamour of war

listening to false prophets

(2) : artificially made or assumed

a set of false teeth

buying false hair from impoverished country girls — Lois Long

b. : blank 5b

a false door

a false window

c. : of a kind related to, resembling, or having properties similar to another species that commonly bears the unqualified vernacular — used in plant names

false oats

a false pea


(1) : not essential or permanent — used of parts of a structure that are temporary or supplemental

false siding

false pillar

false roof

(2) : fastened to or fitting over a main part to strengthen it, to protect it or anything that comes in contact with it, or to disguise its appearance

false deck

false jaw of a chuck or vise

false post

e. : formed through unawareness or misunderstanding of the etymology

pea is a false singular formed from the real singular pease

f. : voided 2

g. : lacking realism, naturalness, or authenticity : failing to produce an effect of artistic rightness or inevitability : appearing forced, strained, or incongruous : artificial , unconvincing

there are only two seriously false scenes … and they occur toward the end — V.S.Pritchett

a vocabulary affected and often … ludicrously false — Gilbert Highet


a. : not based on facts or correct premises : not well founded : imprudent , unwise , incorrect

our time is for the most part spent in hesitation, false starts, and painful retracing of our steps — M.R.Cohen

make a false turn in his canoe — American Guide Series: Louisiana

practice false economy

this marriage is false — George Meredith

a sense of false security

b. : appearing inconsistent with one's true character or intentions : compromising, awkward

by accepting the support of such dubious elements he put himself in an extremely false position

6. dialect England : sharp , clever

it's a false child that knows its own father

Synonyms: see faithless

II. transitive verb

( -ed/-ing/-s )

Etymology: Middle English falsen, fausen, from Old French falser, fausser, from Late Latin falsare, from Latin falsus

obsolete : feign

III. adverb

Etymology: Middle English false, fals, from fals, faus, adjective

1. archaic : erringly , incorrectly , wrongly

2. : faithlessly , treacherously — usually used with play

his wife played him false

Webster's New International English Dictionary.      Новый международный словарь английского языка Webster.