Anything more high-minded than an unprincipled grab for power voters might consider a sham.
As the pyramid grew, the teen struggled to manage his responsibilities at home, in school and with his sham company.
But for the literalists who simply must know, who must look behind the curtain, who must see if Oz is real or a sham?
This move deepened Karzai's paranoia, which led to the ballot-stuffing that made Afghanistan's 2009 elections a sham.
In Pennsylvania, where Abu-Jamal remains imprisoned, and in many places throughout the country, the death penalty is a sham.
On another day, after this dog had been infuriated by a cat, and then pacified, the sham feeding was given again.
Leaving the girl, he set off on the track of the sham beggar.
It is very sorrowful and excites awful surmises; but nevertheless the sham seems to do very well.
Fermerdy beggars, all those who have not the sham sores or clymes.
After a short parley the men divide into two opposite camps, and thereupon a sham fight takes place.
1670s, "a trick, a hoax, a fraud," also as a verb and an adjective, of uncertain origin; the words burst into use in 1677. Perhaps from sham, a northern dialectal variant of shame (n.); a derivation OED finds "not impossible." Sense of "something meant to be mistaken for something else" is from 1728. The meaning "false front" in pillow-sham (1721) is from the notion of "counterfeit." Related: Shammed; shamming; shammer. Shamateur "amateur sportsman who acts like a professional" is from 1896.