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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


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


Examples from the Web for counterfeiter

Historical Examples

  • Larry la Roche had been a counterfeiter and was a consummate penman.

    Way of the Lawless

    Max Brand

  • Water-marked paper has, so far, escaped the counterfeiter's arts.

  • Some thought he was a counterfeiter in disguise, and others called him a conjurer.

    Sheppard Lee, Vol. I (of 2)

    Robert Montgomery Bird

  • What do you think was the counterfeiter's excuse for running away?

  • The counterfeiter, like other copyists, reproduces as accurately as possible the final result.

    The Social Gangster

    Arthur B. Reeve

British Dictionary definitions for counterfeiter


  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

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 counterfeiter



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