• synonyms


See more synonyms for pseudo on Thesaurus.com
  1. not actually but having the appearance of; pretended; false or spurious; sham.
  2. almost, approaching, or trying to be.
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Origin of pseudo

First recorded in 1940–45; independent use of pseudo-


  1. a combining form meaning “false,” “pretended,” “unreal,” used in the formation of compound words (pseudoclassic; pseudointellectual): in scientific use, denoting close or deceptive resemblance to the following element (pseudobulb; pseudocarp), and used sometimes in chemical names of isomers (pseudoephedrine).
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Also especially before a vowel, pseud-.

Origin of pseudo-

< Greek, combining form of pseudḗs false, pseûdos falsehood
Can be confusedpseudo- quasi-
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for pseudo

ersatz, pretend, phony, wrong, imitation, sham, pirate, mock, counterfeit, bogus, pretended, quasi, simulated, spurious, false

Examples from the Web for pseudo

Contemporary Examples of pseudo

Historical Examples of pseudo

  • This sort of pseudo reputation, whether for good or for evil, is not uncommon in the world.


    Benjamin Disraeli

  • While Fandor was going downstairs the pseudo Mme. Ceiron made a grimace.

    A Royal Prisoner

    Pierre Souvestre

  • And we have had perhaps more than enough of the pseudo Mrs Ragg.

    A Sheaf of Corn

    Mary E. Mann

  • He did not know of what this pseudo Quaker might be capable.

  • Your social affairs, too, are meddled with by your family and pseudo friends.

British Dictionary definitions for pseudo


  1. informal not genuine; pretended
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sometimes before a vowel pseud-

combining form
  1. false, pretending, or unauthenticpseudo-intellectual
  2. having a close resemblance topseudopodium
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Word Origin for pseudo-

from Greek pseudēs false, from pseudein to lie
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 pseudo


late 14c., "false or spurious thing;" see pseudo-. As an adjective in this sense from mid-15c. In modern use, of persons, "pretentious, insincere," from 1945; as a noun from 1959. Related: Pseudish.

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often before vowels pseud-, word-forming element meaning "false; feigned; erroneous; in appearance only; resembling," from Greek pseudo-, comb. form of pseudes "false, lying; falsely; deceived," or pseudos "falsehood, untruth, a lie," both from pseudein "to deceive, cheat by lies."

Productive in compound formation in ancient Greek (e.g. pseudodidaskalos "false teacher," pseudokyon "a sham cynic," pseudologia "a false speech," pseudoparthenos "pretended virgin"), it began to be used with native words in Middle English.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

pseudo in Medicine


  1. False; deceptive; sham:pseudohematuria.
  2. Apparently similar:pseudomyxoma.
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The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.