- apparently good or right though lacking real merit; superficially pleasing or plausible: specious arguments.
- pleasing to the eye but deceptive.
- Obsolete. pleasing to the eye; fair.
Origin of specious
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for specious
That struck the ACLU—and the judge in the case, Alvin Hellerstein—as a specious argument.The Detainee Abuse Photos Obama Didn’t Want You To See
Noah Shachtman, Tim Mak
December 15, 2014
So specious, in fact, that they are increasingly seen to be rationales to cover outdated forms of prejudice.Catholic University’s Harvey Milk Ban Reflects A Church In Transition
October 3, 2014
Set aside for a moment that that logic is specious in the first place.The Gender-Pay Gap: It’s Real, and Yes, It’s Sexism
September 27, 2014
In a TiVo age, who watches political ads anyway, no matter how specious or bombastic?Is Big Money Politics an Overblown Evil?
August 2, 2014
While the public gasped at this specious statement, the defense took over for cross examination.Portrait of the Consummate Con Man
May 17, 2014
Really, your ladyship talks of servants as if they were not born of the Christian specious.Joseph Andrews, Vol. 2
Accounts for his plausible behaviour, and specious promises and proposals.Clarissa, Volume 3 (of 9)
Under a specious, smiling countenance you all conceal a heart of gall.Imogen
But Psychology has also some other supports, specious rather than real.Theaetetus
By that most glib and specious explanation Cynthia was convinced.The Tavern Knight
- apparently correct or true, but actually wrong or false
- deceptively attractive in appearance
Word Origin and History for specious
c.1400, "pleasing to the sight, fair," from Latin speciosus "good-looking, beautiful," from species "appearance" (see species). Meaning "seemingly desirable, reasonable or probable, but not really so" is first recorded 1610s.