phony or pho·ney [ foh-nee ] SHOW IPA / ˈfoʊ ni / PHONETIC RESPELLING adjective, pho·ni·er, pho·ni·est. 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. noun, plural pho·nies. something that is phony; a counterfeit or fake. an insincere, pretentious, or deceitful person: He thought my friends were a bunch of phonies. verb (used with object), pho·nied, pho·ny·ing. to falsify; counterfeit; fabricate (often followed by up): to phony up a document.
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Origin of phony
1895–1900; perhaps alteration and respelling of
fawney (slang) finger ring (<Irish fsptáinne), if taken to mean “false” in the phrase fawney rig a confidence game in which a brass ring is sold as a gold one OTHER WORDS FROM phony pho·ni·ly, adverb pho·ni·ness, noun Other definitions for phony (2 of 2) a combining form used in the formation of abstract nouns corresponding to nouns ending in -phone: telephony. Origin of -phony
Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2022
How to use phony in a sentence
In 2012, Facebook announced that 83 million profiles—pushing 10 percent of the total number on the site—were
I would even, I decided, stoop to having him thrown in jail on a
phony charge, if that should be necessary.
And you knew, right away, that Swami was a
phony from Flatbush.
The Swami was an obvious
phony of the baldest fakery, yet he had something.
He had less than a hundred credits, a knife, a deck of
phony cards, and a yellow ticket.
Unless the money is
phony, or the pass is phony in which case the turnstile locks and all hell breaks loose. British Dictionary definitions for phony (1 of 2) adjective, noun -nier or -niest or plural -nies a variant spelling (esp US) of phoney Derived forms of phony phoniness, noun British Dictionary definitions for phony (2 of 2) n combining form indicating a specified type of sound cacophony; euphony Derived forms of -phony -phonic, adj combining form Word Origin for -phony
-phōnia, from phōnē sound
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Medical definitions for phony
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.