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2017 Word of the Year

false

[fawls] /fɔls/
adjective, falser, falsest.
1.
not true or correct; erroneous:
a false statement.
2.
uttering or declaring what is untrue:
a false witness.
3.
not faithful or loyal; treacherous:
a false friend.
4.
tending to deceive or mislead; deceptive:
a false impression.
5.
not genuine; counterfeit.
6.
based on mistaken, erroneous, or inconsistent impressions, ideas, or facts:
false pride.
7.
used as a substitute or supplement, especially temporarily:
false supports for a bridge.
8.
Biology. having a superficial resemblance to something that properly bears the name:
the false acacia.
9.
not properly, accurately, or honestly made, done, or adjusted:
a false balance.
10.
inaccurate in pitch, as a musical note.
adverb
11.
dishonestly; faithlessly; treacherously:
Did he speak false against me?
Idioms
12.
play someone false, to betray someone; be treacherous or faithless.
Origin of false
1000
before 1000; Middle English, Old English fals < Latin falsus feigned, false, orig. past participle of fallere to deceive; reinforced by or reborrowed from Anglo-French, Old French fals, feminine false < Latin
Related forms
falsely, adverb
falseness, noun
half-false, adjective
quasi-false, adjective
quasi-falsely, adverb
Synonyms
1. mistaken, incorrect, wrong, untrue. 2. untruthful, lying, mendacious. 3. insincere, hypocritical, disingenuous, disloyal, unfaithful, inconstant, perfidious, traitorous. 4. misleading, fallacious. 5. artificial, spurious, bogus, forged. False, sham, counterfeit agree in referring to something that is not genuine. False is used mainly of imitations of concrete objects; it sometimes implies an intent to deceive: false teeth; false hair. Sham is rarely used of concrete objects and usually has the suggestion of intent to deceive: sham title; sham tears. Counterfeit always has the implication of cheating; it is used particularly of spurious imitation of coins, paper money, etc.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for falseness
Historical Examples
  • Now he sought only how to conceal his deception and falseness.

    Salted With Fire George MacDonald
  • Then on her lips, the dear lips that know no word of falseness, he lays his kiss.

    The Child of Pleasure Gabriele D'Annunzio
  • Despise your cowardice; condemn whate'er You note of falseness in you anywhere.

    Watch Yourself Go By Al. G. Field
  • But its hollowness and falseness they feel at times most keenly.

  • The result is a confusion of all the functions of the society, and a falseness in all its mores.

    Folkways

    William Graham Sumner
  • This woman is of a duplicity, a falseness, impossible for your lofty soul to comprehend.

    Rita Laura E. Richards
  • What clearer evidence of the falseness of your accusations could be desired?

  • falseness to his position won't wash him clean of the title.'

  • I see my falseness to you, though I little thought it at the time—fool that I was!

    Evan Harrington, Complete George Meredith
  • The falseness of the saying was clear to him in the light of his own experience.

    The Girl and The Bill

    Bannister Merwin
British Dictionary definitions for falseness

false

/fɔːls/
adjective
1.
not in accordance with the truth or facts
2.
irregular or invalid: a false start
3.
untruthful or lying: a false account
4.
not genuine, real, or natural; artificial; fake: false eyelashes
5.
being or intended to be misleading or deceptive: a false rumour
6.
disloyal or treacherous: a false friend
7.
based on mistaken or irrelevant ideas or facts: false pride, a false argument
8.
(prenominal) (esp of plants) superficially resembling the species specified: false hellebore
9.
serving to supplement or replace, often temporarily: a false keel
10.
(music)
  1. (of a note, interval, etc) out of tune
  2. (of the interval of a perfect fourth or fifth) decreased by a semitone
  3. (of a cadence) interrupted or imperfect
adverb
11.
in a false or dishonest manner (esp in the phrase play (someone) false)
Derived Forms
falsely, adverb
falseness, noun
Word Origin
Old English fals, from Latin falsus, from fallere to deceive
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for falseness
n.

c.1300, from false + -ness.

false

adj.

late 12c., from Old French fals, faus (12c., Modern French faux) "false, fake, incorrect, mistaken, treacherous, deceitful," from Latin falsus "deceived, erroneous, mistaken," past participle of fallere "deceive, disappoint," of uncertain origin (see fail).

Adopted into other Germanic languages (cf. German falsch, Dutch valsch, Danish falsk), though English is the only one in which the active sense of "deceitful" (a secondary sense in Latin) has predominated. False alarm recorded from 1570s. Related: Falsely; falseness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Idioms and Phrases with falseness
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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Nearby words for falseness

Word Value for falseness

12
14
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