[fawls-hoo d]


a false statement; lie.
something false; an untrue idea, belief, etc.: The Nazis propagated the falsehood of racial superiority.
the act of lying or making false statements.
lack of conformity to truth or fact.
Obsolete. deception.

Origin of falsehood

First recorded in 1250–1300, falsehood is from the Middle English word falshede. See false, -hood

Synonym study

1. Falsehood, fib, lie, untruth refer to something untrue or incorrect. A falsehood is a statement that distorts or suppresses the truth, in order to deceive: to tell a falsehood about one's ancestry in order to gain acceptance. A fib denotes a trivial falsehood, and is often used to characterize that which is not strictly true: a polite fib. A lie is a vicious falsehood: to tell a lie about one's neighbor. An untruth is an incorrect statement, either intentionally misleading (less harsh, however, than falsehood or lie) or arising from misunderstanding or ignorance: I'm afraid you are telling an untruth.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for falsehood

Contemporary Examples of falsehood

Historical Examples of falsehood

  • "Captain Haley knows very well the falsehood of what he says," said our hero, calmly.

    Brave and Bold

    Horatio Alger

  • His eyes, round and full and steady, taxed her with falsehood, with hypocrisy.

  • When souls have loved, there is no falsehood or forgetfulness.

    Other Tales and Sketches

    Nathaniel Hawthorne

  • It is the falsehood of the silliest poetry to say he defies the image of his beloved.

    Weighed and Wanting

    George MacDonald

  • Was it simply to meet—to talk—and afterwards to tell a falsehood to one's parents?

    The Dream

    Emile Zola

British Dictionary definitions for falsehood



the quality of being untrue
an untrue statement; lie
the act of deceiving or lying
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 falsehood

late 13c., falshede, "deceitfulness," also "a lie," from false + -hood.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper