apparently good or right though lacking real merit; superficially pleasing or plausible: specious arguments.
pleasing to the eye but deceptive.
Obsolete. pleasing to the eye; fair.
Click for a side-by-side comparison of meanings. Use the word comparison feature to learn the differences between similar and commonly confused words.
- spe·cious·ly, adverb
- spe·cious·ness, noun
- non·spe·cious, adjective
- non·spe·cious·ly, adverb
- non·spe·cious·ness, noun
- un·spe·cious, adjective
- un·spe·cious·ly, adverb
- un·spe·cious·ness, noun
- species, specious
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023
How to use specious in a sentence
Sending in our ground forces to “fight them on foreign soil so we won’t have to fight them on our own” is a specious argument.
The performance-enhancing benefits of marijuana are, if not specious, at least very much up for debate.Sha'Carri Richardson's Suspension for Marijuana Defies Common Sense | Sean Gregory | July 2, 2021 | Time
Ads promoting fraudulent sanitizers and specious coronavirus remedies or linking to fly-by-night websites selling overpriced masks still clog up the digital ad supply chain, companies that monitor advertising creative for programmatic ad firms say.COVID-19 scam ads decline, but AI systems risk catching legitimate vaccine messages in their traps | Kate Kaye | May 10, 2021 | Digiday
That struck the ACLU—and the judge in the case, Alvin Hellerstein—as a specious argument.The Detainee Abuse Photos Obama Didn’t Want You To See | Noah Shachtman, Tim Mak | December 15, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
So specious, in fact, that they are increasingly seen to be rationales to cover outdated forms of prejudice.Catholic University’s Harvey Milk Ban Reflects A Church In Transition | Jay Michaelson | October 3, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
Set aside for a moment that that logic is specious in the first place.The Gender-Pay Gap: It’s Real, and Yes, It’s Sexism | Monica Potts | September 27, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
In a TiVo age, who watches political ads anyway, no matter how specious or bombastic?
While the public gasped at this specious statement, the defense took over for cross examination.
It was notorious that she claimed the sovereignty of the isthmus on specious, nay, on solid, grounds.The History of England from the Accession of James II. | Thomas Babington Macaulay
These proverbs remind us of Bacon: "specious words confound virtue."Beacon Lights of History, Volume I | John Lord
Mr. Grote's speech on this occasion contained many specious arguments, and it appears to have had a great effect upon the house.The History of England in Three Volumes, Vol.III. | E. Farr and E. H. Nolan
There is no cruelty which they do not practice upon each other under this specious pretext.Superstition In All Ages (1732) | Jean Meslier
The mediocrities allow themselves to be dissuaded by the specious obstacles—the great ones never.Toilers of the Sea | Victor Hugo
British Dictionary definitions for specious
apparently correct or true, but actually wrong or false
deceptively attractive in appearance
- speciously, adverb
- speciousness, noun
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