• synonyms


See more synonyms for counterfeit on Thesaurus.com
  1. made in imitation so as to be passed off fraudulently or deceptively as genuine; not genuine; forged: counterfeit dollar bills.
  2. pretended; unreal: counterfeit grief.
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  1. an imitation intended to be passed off fraudulently or deceptively as genuine; forgery.
  2. Archaic. a copy.
  3. Archaic. a close likeness; portrait.
  4. Obsolete. impostor; pretender.
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verb (used with object)
  1. to make a counterfeit of; imitate fraudulently; forge.
  2. to resemble.
  3. to simulate.
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verb (used without object)
  1. to make counterfeits, as of money.
  2. to feign; dissemble.
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Origin of counterfeit

1250–1300; (adj.) Middle English countrefet false, forged < Anglo-French cuntrefet, Old French contrefait, past participle of conterfere to copy, imitate, equivalent to conter- counter- + fere to make, do ≪ Latin facere (see fact); (v.) Middle English countrefeten, verbal derivative of countrefet
Related formscoun·ter·feit·er, nouncoun·ter·feit·ly, adverbcoun·ter·feit·ness, nounnon·coun·ter·feit, adjectiveun·coun·ter·feit·ed, adjective

Synonyms for counterfeit

See more synonyms for on Thesaurus.com
1. spurious, bogus. See false. 2. sham, feigned, simulated, fraudulent; mock, fake, ersatz. 3. falsification, sham. 7. copy; falsify.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for counterfeit

spurious, phony, fraudulent, fictitious, bogus, forged, false, copied, fabricate, brummagem, plant, affected, bent, put-on, assumed, queer, pseudo, pretended, wrong, feigned

Examples from the Web for counterfeit

Contemporary Examples of counterfeit

Historical Examples of counterfeit

  • At this favorable moment the counterfeit conjurers disappeared.

    The Last of the Mohicans

    James Fenimore Cooper

  • And anyhow, repining is only a counterfeit repentance, you know.

    The Cavalier

    George Washington Cable

  • Thus are all things represented by counterfeit, and yet without this there was no living.

    The Praise of Folly

    Desiderius Erasmus

  • Or what is it that their own very names are often counterfeit or borrowed from some books of the ancients?

    The Praise of Folly

    Desiderius Erasmus

  • I am no counterfeit, nor do I carry one thing in my looks and another in my breast.

    The Praise of Folly

    Desiderius Erasmus

British Dictionary definitions for counterfeit


  1. made in imitation of something genuine with the intent to deceive or defraud; forged
  2. simulated; shamcounterfeit affection
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  1. an imitation designed to deceive or defraud
  2. archaic an impostor; cheat
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  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 Formscounterfeiter, noun

Word Origin for counterfeit

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


late 13c., from Old French contrefait "imitated" (Modern French contrefait), past participle of contrefaire "imitate," from contre- "against" (see contra-) + faire "to make, to do" (from Latin facere; see factitious). Medieval Latin contrafactio meant "setting in opposition or contrast." Related: Counterfeited; counterfeiting. The noun and adjective are from late 14c.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper