false

[ fawls ]
/ fɔls /
|||

adjective, fals·er, fals·est.

adverb

dishonestly; faithlessly; treacherously: Did he speak false against me?

Idioms

    play someone false, to betray someone; be treacherous or faithless.

Origin of false

before 1000; Middle English, Old English fals < Latin falsus feigned, false, orig. past participle of fallere to deceive; reinforced by or reborrowed from Anglo-French, Old French fals, feminine false < Latin
SYNONYMS FOR false
5 artificial, spurious, bogus, forged. False, sham, counterfeit agree in referring to something that is not genuine. False is used mainly of imitations of concrete objects; it sometimes implies an intent to deceive: false teeth; false hair. Sham is rarely used of concrete objects and usually has the suggestion of intent to deceive: sham title; sham tears. Counterfeit always has the implication of cheating; it is used particularly of spurious imitation of coins, paper money, etc.
Related forms
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for false

British Dictionary definitions for false

false

/ (fɔːls) /

adjective

adverb

in a false or dishonest manner (esp in the phrase play (someone) false)
Derived Formsfalsely, adverbfalseness, noun

Word Origin for false

Old English fals, from Latin falsus, from fallere to deceive
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 false

false


adj.

late 12c., from Old French fals, faus (12c., Modern French faux) "false, fake, incorrect, mistaken, treacherous, deceitful," from Latin falsus "deceived, erroneous, mistaken," past participle of fallere "deceive, disappoint," of uncertain origin (see fail).

Adopted into other Germanic languages (cf. German falsch, Dutch valsch, Danish falsk), though English is the only one in which the active sense of "deceitful" (a secondary sense in Latin) has predominated. False alarm recorded from 1570s. Related: Falsely; falseness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with false

false


In addition to the idioms beginning with false

  • false alarm
  • false colors
  • false start
  • false step

also see:

  • lull into (false sense of security)
  • play false
  • ring false
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.