[ fawls ]
See synonyms for: falsefalselyfalseness on Thesaurus.com

adjective,fals·er, fals·est.
  1. not true or correct; erroneous: a false statement.

  2. uttering or declaring what is untrue: a false witness.

  1. not faithful or loyal; treacherous: a false friend.

  2. tending to deceive or mislead; deceptive: a false impression.

  3. not genuine; counterfeit.

  4. based on mistaken, erroneous, or inconsistent impressions, ideas, or facts: false pride.

  5. used as a substitute or supplement, especially temporarily: false supports for a bridge.

  6. Biology. having a superficial resemblance to something that properly bears the name: the false acacia.

  7. not properly, accurately, or honestly made, done, or adjusted: a false balance.

  8. inaccurate in pitch, as a musical note.

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

Idioms about false

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

Origin of false

First recorded before 1000; Middle English, Old English fals, from Latin falsus “feigned, false,” originally past participle of fallere “to deceive”; reinforced by or reborrowed from Anglo-French, Old French fals (feminine false ), from Latin

synonym study For false

5. 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.

Other words for false

Other words from false

  • falsely, adverb
  • falseness, noun
  • half-false, adjective
  • quasi-false, adjective
  • quasi-falsely, adverb

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

How to use false in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for false


/ (fɔːls) /

  1. not in accordance with the truth or facts

  2. irregular or invalid: a false start

  1. untruthful or lying: a false account

  2. not genuine, real, or natural; artificial; fake: false eyelashes

  3. being or intended to be misleading or deceptive: a false rumour

  4. disloyal or treacherous: a false friend

  5. based on mistaken or irrelevant ideas or facts: false pride; a false argument

  6. (prenominal) (esp of plants) superficially resembling the species specified: false hellebore

  7. serving to supplement or replace, often temporarily: a false keel

  8. music

    • (of a note, interval, etc) out of tune

    • (of the interval of a perfect fourth or fifth) decreased by a semitone

    • (of a cadence) interrupted or imperfect

  1. in a false or dishonest manner (esp in the phrase play (someone) false)

Origin of false

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

Derived forms of false

  • falsely, adverb
  • falseness, 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

Other Idioms and Phrases with 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.