Potemkin village

or Po·tem·kin Vil·lage

[ poh-tem-kin vil-ij, puh‐ ]
/ poʊˈtɛm kɪn ˈvɪl ɪdʒ, pə‐ /

noun

a pretentiously showy or imposing façade intended to mask or divert attention from an embarrassing or shabby fact or condition.

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“I do believe that the buck stops here, that I cannot rely upon public opinion polls to tell me what is right. I do believe that right makes might and that if I am wrong, 10 angels swearing I was right would make no difference.”

Origin of Potemkin village

1935–40; after Prince Potëmkin, who allegedly had villages of cardboard constructed for Catherine II's visit to the Ukraine and the Crimea in 1787

Words nearby Potemkin village

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020