adjective, fals·er, fals·est.
Origin of false
British Dictionary definitions for play false
- (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
Word Origin for false
Word Origin and History for play false
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.
Idioms and Phrases with play false (1 of 2)
Deceive or betray one, as in If my memory does not play false, I met them years ago in Italy. [Late 1500s]
Idioms and Phrases with play false (2 of 2)
In addition to the idioms beginning with false
- false alarm
- false colors
- false start
- false step
- lull into (false sense of security)
- play false
- ring false