• synonyms


See more synonyms for bogus on Thesaurus.com
  1. not genuine; counterfeit; spurious; sham.
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  1. 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.
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Origin of bogus

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


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Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words

spurious, phony, fraudulent, fictitious, forged, fake, sham, false, artificial, dummy, ersatz, imitation, pretended, pseudo, simulated

Examples from the Web for bogus

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • 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


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

Word Origin

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).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper