- not real or genuine; fake; counterfeit: a phony diamond.
- false or deceiving; not truthful; concocted: a phony explanation.
- insincere or deceitful; affected or pretentious: a phony sales representative.
- something that is phony; a counterfeit or fake.
- an insincere, pretentious, or deceitful person: He thought my friends were a bunch of phonies.
- to falsify; counterfeit; fabricate (often followed by up): to phony up a document.
Origin of phony
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
- a combining form used in the formation of abstract nouns corresponding to nouns ending in -phone: telephony.
Origin of -phony
Examples from the Web for phony
Surely they believe as well that the very concept of an ethnic nation “chosen” by God is phony and unjust.No Drama Obama's Israel Ambivalence
July 26, 2014
This single program alone has generated tens of thousands of phony Twitterers.
In 2012, Facebook announced that 83 million profiles—pushing 10 percent of the total number on the site—were phony.
Of course, the incentive for the Gingrich team would be not to delete the phony accounts.
Just like refusing vaccines will do nothing to reverse these changes, neither will phony detoxifying remedies.FDA Moves to Crack Down on Quack Autism ‘Cures’
April 29, 2014
I looks at him, and then, thinking of the phony money, I looks at Durks.Sonnie-Boy's People
James B. Connolly
Their phony history was set up to deceive their own people as well as others.Cubs of the Wolf
Raymond F. Jones
And you knew, right away, that Swami was a phony from Flatbush.Sense from Thought Divide
Mark Irvin Clifton
For there's nothin' phony about my new Uncle Kyrle, take it from me!Torchy, Private Sec.
Say, Tuttle, you know you can't work any 'phony deal on the Corrugated.Torchy
- a variant spelling (esp US) of phoney
- indicating a specified type of soundcacophony; euphony
Word Origin and History for phony
also phoney, "not genuine," 1899, perhaps an alteration of fawney "gilt brass ring used by swindlers."
His most successful swindle was selling "painted" or "phony" diamonds. He had a plan of taking cheap stones, and by "doctoring" them make them have a brilliant and high class appearance. His confederates would then take the diamonds to other pawnbrokers and dispose of them. ["The Jewelers Review," New York, April 5, 1899]
The noun meaning "phony person or thing" is attested from 1902.