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).

Nearby words

  1. pseudepigraphy,
  2. pseudesthesia,
  3. pseudisodomic,
  4. pseudo,
  5. pseudo force,
  6. pseudo-ainhum,
  7. pseudo-cleft sentence,
  8. pseudo-code,
  9. pseudo-colour,
  10. pseudo-dionysius

Also especially before a vowel, pseud-.

Origin of pseudo-

< Greek, combining form of pseudḗs false, pseûdos falsehood

Can be confusedpseudo- quasi- Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for pseudo-


sometimes before a vowel pseud-

combining form

false, pretending, or unauthenticpseudo-intellectual
having a close resemblance topseudopodium

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-


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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Medicine definitions for pseudo-



False; deceptive; sham:pseudohematuria.
Apparently similar:pseudomyxoma.

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