View synonyms for counterfeit


[ koun-ter-fit ]


  1. made in imitation so as to be passed off fraudulently or deceptively as genuine; not genuine; forged:

    counterfeit dollar bills.

    Synonyms: bogus, spurious

  2. pretended; unreal:

    counterfeit grief.

    Synonyms: ersatz, fake, mock, make-believe, pretend, feigned, sham


  1. an imitation intended to be passed off fraudulently or deceptively as genuine; forgery.

    Synonyms: falsification, sham

  2. Archaic. a copy.
  3. Archaic. a close likeness; portrait.
  4. Obsolete. impostor; pretender.

verb (used with object)

  1. to make a counterfeit of; imitate fraudulently; forge.

    Synonyms: falsify, copy

  2. to resemble.
  3. to simulate.

verb (used without object)

  1. to make counterfeits, as of money.
  2. to feign; dissemble.


/ ˈkaʊntəfɪt /


  1. made in imitation of something genuine with the intent to deceive or defraud; forged
  2. simulated; sham

    counterfeit affection


  1. an imitation designed to deceive or defraud
  2. archaic.
    an impostor; cheat


  1. tr to make a fraudulent imitation of
  2. intr to make counterfeits
  3. to feign; simulate
  4. tr to imitate; copy

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Derived Forms

  • ˈcounterfeiter, noun

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Other Words From

  • counter·feiter noun
  • counter·feitly adverb
  • counter·feitness noun
  • non·counter·feit adjective
  • un·counter·feited adjective

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Word History and Origins

Origin of counterfeit1

First recorded in 1250–1300; (adjective) Middle English countrefet “false, forged,” from Anglo-French cuntrefet, Old French contrefait, contrefet, past participle of contrefaire, contrefere “to copy, imitate,” equivalent to conter- counter- + fere “to make, do,” ultimately from Latin facere ( fact ); (verb) Middle English countrefeten, verbal derivative of countrefet

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Word History and Origins

Origin of counterfeit1

C13: from Old French contrefait, from contrefaire to copy, from contre- counter- + faire to make, from Latin facere

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Synonym Study

See false.

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Example Sentences

Perhaps they spotted the counterfeit seal, or opened the engine to find all their valves missing.

Some public health experts said the federal government should have prioritized certifying or manufacturing better masks earlier so Americans do not have to fend for themselves to avoid counterfeits or upgrade their own.

The aim is to protect shoppers from buying counterfeit, stolen, or dangerous goods on these marketplaces, which sometimes make it hard to know who is behind the product for sale.

From Quartz

Last June, the regulatory agency began issuing alerts and warnings for consumers about dangerous and counterfeit hand sanitizers, many of which were made in Mexico.

The photos are then analyzed by in-house experts who determine whether the goods are genuine or counterfeit.

From Ozy

It remains unclear when Spinal Solutions began to counterfeit surgical implants.

The lawyers accuse Spinal Solutions of selling counterfeit implants and doctors of accepting kickbacks in return for using them.

In one of the last desperate acts of World War II, the SS dumped crates full of counterfeit money into nearby Lake Toplitz.

Schwend apparently retained one-third of the profits derived from the sale of the counterfeit money.

Spitz made six trips and exchanged some 600,000 marks worth of counterfeit English pounds.

But at the instant I caught a sight of my counterfeit presentment in a shop window, and veiled my haughty crest.

As well might we say that because there are counterfeit bank bills in existence, therefore, none are genuine.

In other words, since counterfeit bank bills exist therefore none are genuine.

Princes' sons never have their fathers tried for passing counterfeit money.

Several factories where counterfeit bread tickets were printed have been discovered in Berlin.