not genuine; counterfeit; spurious; sham.


Printing, Journalism. matter set, by union requirement, by a compositor and later discarded, duplicating the text of an advertisement for which a plate has been supplied or type set by another publisher.

Origin of bogus

1825–30, Americanism; originally an apparatus for coining false money; perhaps akin to bogy1

Synonyms for bogus Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for bogus

Contemporary Examples of bogus

Historical Examples of bogus

  • Save for subsiding bubbles, and the bogus water, there was nothing there.

    The Paliser case

    Edgar Saltus

  • In all such cases the heraldry should be true, and not of the "bogus" kind.


    George Jack

  • She must explain to me how that bogus money came into her possession.

  • By some fearful mischance I dropped a real despatch and not the bogus one.

    The Lost Despatch

    Natalie Sumner Lincoln

  • Wall, I must say I like yer looks a heap better nor I did the bogus one!

British Dictionary definitions for bogus



spurious or counterfeit; not genuinea bogus note
Derived Formsbogusly, adverbbogusness, noun

Word Origin for bogus

C19: from bogus apparatus for making counterfeit money; perhaps related to bogey 1
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

Word Origin and History for bogus

1838, "counterfeit money, spurious coin," American English, apparently from a slang word applied (according to some sources first in Ohio in 1827) to a counterfeiter's apparatus.

One bogus or machine impressing dies on the coin, with a number of dies, engraving tools, bank bill paper, spurious coin, &c. &c. making in all a large wagon load, was taken into possession by the attorney general of Lower Canada. [Niles' Register, Sept. 7, 1833, quoting from Concord, New Hampshire, "Statesman," Aug. 24]

Some trace this to tantrabobus, also tantrabogus, a late 18c. colloquial Vermont word for any odd-looking object, in later 19c. use "the devil," which might be connected to tantarabobs, recorded as a Devonshire name for the devil. Others trace it to the same source as bogey (n.1).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper