[ koun-ter-fit ]
See synonyms for: counterfeitcounterfeitedcounterfeiting on

  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.

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

  2. Archaic. a copy.

  1. Archaic. a close likeness; portrait.

  2. Obsolete. impostor; pretender.

verb (used with object)
  1. to make a counterfeit of; imitate fraudulently; forge.

  2. to resemble.

  1. to simulate.

verb (used without object)
  1. to make counterfeits, as of money.

  2. to feign; dissemble.

Origin of counterfeit

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 (see fact); (verb) Middle English countrefeten, verbal derivative of countrefet

synonym study For counterfeit

1. See false.

Other words for counterfeit

Other words from counterfeit

  • 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 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use counterfeit in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for counterfeit


/ (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

  1. to feign; simulate

  2. (tr) to imitate; copy

Origin of counterfeit

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

Derived forms of counterfeit

  • counterfeiter, noun

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