Meaning of SPURIOUS in English


ˈspyu̇rēəs, -pyür- sometimes ÷ -pər.ē- or -pə.rē- adjective

Etymology: Latin & Late Latin; Late Latin spurius false, from Latin, of illegitimate birth, from spurius, n., bastard (often used as a praenomen)

1. : of illegitimate birth : bastard

her spurious firstborn — John Milton

the dominions of both rulers passed away to their spurious or doubtful offspring — E.A.Freeman


a. : outwardly similar or corresponding to something without having its genuine qualities : false , counterfeit

the true ring by which … a fossilized survival may be known from a spurious reproduction — Thomas Hardy

the spurious mechanical substitutes for knowledge and experience now provided through … the motion picture — Lewis Mumford

prone to attach a spurious novelty to the things of the moment simply because they pretend to be new — J.A.R.Pimlott

first of the … dictators to sweep to spurious glory on the upthrust of human arms — Milton Bracker

b. : simulative in symptoms or development without being pathologically or morphologically genuine

spurious labor pains

spurious species

spurious fruit

the effusion of lymph which gradually degenerates into his spurious bony deposit — Robert Chawner


a. : of falsified or erroneously attributed origin or authorship : forged, inauthentic

the spurious lines and passages which scholars used to reject as contradicting the genuine parts of the story — T.A.Jones

the only known picture … albeit a spurious one had been printed some years earlier — James Monaghan

the regalia became the symbols of sovereignty over all the tribes … though their spurious nature was obvious — A.M.Young

b. : of a deceitful or fictitious nature or quality : fraudulent

one of the worst features of the religious decadence … was the craftiness of such spurious types of men — Edwin Benson

a completely spurious witness — M.S.Mayer

the spurious explanations of the astrologers — G.A.L.Sarton

c. : faulty in reasoning or conclusion : illogical , specious

spurious inferences from obsolescent notions of causality and prediction — Ethel Albert

no spurious argument, no appeal to sentiment … can deceive the American people — F.D.Roosevelt

incomplete statistical evidence leads to spurious correlations

4. : marked by spuriousness or falseness

additions which he inserted … to give them a spurious authenticity, into the original manuscript — R.D.Altick

5. : of an excrescent or superfluous character : undesirably intrusive : extraneous

the power output of a transmitter must be … free from spurious radiations — Radio Amateur's Handbk.

designed … to operate so that spurious emissions and responses are completely eliminated — W.P.Corderman

6. : irrelevantly inapplicable : lacking correspondence to reality : vaguely ambiguous : pseudo

if the terms of our discourse are incompatible or confused … then our alleged beliefs are not false, but spurious — Susanne K. Langer

if, when he utters it, he is not talking about anything, then his use is not a genuine one, but a spurious — Morris Weity

Synonyms: see counterfeit

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