[ spee-shuhs ]
/ ˈspi ʃəs /


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.

Nearby words

  1. specifics,
  2. specify,
  3. specimen,
  4. specimen plant,
  5. speciosity,
  6. specious present,
  7. speciously,
  8. speck,
  9. speckedness,
  10. speckle

Origin of specious

1350–1400; Middle English < Latin speciōsus fair, good-looking, beautiful, equivalent to speci(ēs) (see species) + -ōsus -ous

1. See plausible. 2. false, misleading.

Related forms
Can be confusedspecie species specious

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for speciously

British Dictionary definitions for speciously


/ (ˈspiːʃəs) /


apparently correct or true, but actually wrong or false
deceptively attractive in appearance
Derived Formsspeciously, adverbspeciousness, noun

Word Origin for specious

C14 (originally: fair): from Latin speciōsus plausible, from speciēs outward appearance, from specere to look at

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 speciously



c.1400, "pleasing to the sight, fair," from Latin speciosus "good-looking, beautiful," from species "appearance" (see species). Meaning "seemingly desirable, reasonable or probable, but not really so" is first recorded 1610s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper