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[soo-doh] /ˈsu doʊ/
not actually but having the appearance of; pretended; false or spurious; sham.
almost, approaching, or trying to be.
Origin of pseudo
First recorded in 1940-45; independent use of pseudo-


a combining form meaning “false,” “pretended,” “unreal,” used in the formation of compound words (pseudoclassic; pseudointellectual): in scientific use, denoting close or deceptive resemblance to the following element (pseudobulb; pseudocarp), and used sometimes in chemical names of isomers (pseudoephedrine).
Also, especially before a vowel, pseud-.
< Greek, combining form of pseudḗs false, pseûdos falsehood
Can be confused
pseudo-, quasi-. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for pseudo
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • This sort of pseudo reputation, whether for good or for evil, is not uncommon in the world.

    Tancred Benjamin Disraeli
  • While Fandor was going downstairs the pseudo Mme. Ceiron made a grimace.

    A Royal Prisoner Pierre Souvestre
  • And we have had perhaps more than enough of the pseudo Mrs Ragg.

    A Sheaf of Corn Mary E. Mann
  • He did not know of what this pseudo Quaker might be capable.

    A Cousin's Conspiracy Horatio Alger
  • Your social affairs, too, are meddled with by your family and pseudo friends.

    Cupology Clara
British Dictionary definitions for pseudo


(informal) not genuine; pretended


combining form
false, pretending, or unauthentic: pseudo-intellectual
having a close resemblance to: pseudopodium
Word Origin
from Greek pseudēs false, from pseudein to lie
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 pseudo

late 14c., "false or spurious thing;" see pseudo-. As an adjective in this sense from mid-15c. In modern use, of persons, "pretentious, insincere," from 1945; as a noun from 1959. Related: Pseudish.


often before vowels pseud-, word-forming element meaning "false; feigned; erroneous; in appearance only; resembling," from Greek pseudo-, comb. form of pseudes "false, lying; falsely; deceived," or pseudos "falsehood, untruth, a lie," both from pseudein "to deceive, cheat by lies."

Productive in compound formation in ancient Greek (e.g. pseudodidaskalos "false teacher," pseudokyon "a sham cynic," pseudologia "a false speech," pseudoparthenos "pretended virgin"), it began to be used with native words in Middle English.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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pseudo in Medicine

pseudo- or pseud-

  1. False; deceptive; sham: pseudohematuria.

  2. Apparently similar: pseudomyxoma.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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Slang definitions & phrases for pseudo



False; bogus, sham: offering pseudo interest in her

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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