or pho·ney

[ foh-nee ]
/ ˈfoʊ ni /
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See synonyms for: phony / phonied / phonies / phonying on Thesaurus.com

adjective, pho·ni·er, pho·ni·est.
not real or genuine; fake; counterfeit: a phony diamond.
false or deceiving; not truthful; concocted: a phony explanation.
insincere or deceitful; affected or pretentious: a phony sales representative.
noun, plural pho·nies.
something that is phony; a counterfeit or fake.
an insincere, pretentious, or deceitful person: He thought my friends were a bunch of phonies.
verb (used with object), pho·nied, pho·ny·ing.
to falsify; counterfeit; fabricate (often followed by up): to phony up a document.
In effect, this quiz will prove whether or not you have the skills to know the difference between “affect” and “effect.”
Question 1 of 7
The rainy weather could not ________ my elated spirits on my graduation day.
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Origin of phony

1895–1900; perhaps alteration and respelling of fawney (slang) finger ring (<Irish fsptáinne), if taken to mean “false” in the phrase fawney rig a confidence game in which a brass ring is sold as a gold one


pho·ni·ly, adverbpho·ni·ness, noun

Other definitions for phony (2 of 2)


a combining form used in the formation of abstract nouns corresponding to nouns ending in -phone: telephony.

Origin of -phony

<Greek -phōnia;see -phone, -y3
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2022

How to use phony in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for phony (1 of 2)

/ (ˈfəʊnɪ) /

adjective, noun -nier or -niest or plural -nies
a variant spelling (esp US) of phoney

Derived forms of phony

phoniness, noun

British Dictionary definitions for phony (2 of 2)


n combining form
indicating a specified type of soundcacophony; euphony

Derived forms of -phony

-phonic, adj combining form

Word Origin for -phony

from Greek -phōnia, from phōnē sound
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

Medical definitions for phony


The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.