See more synonyms for specious on Thesaurus.com
  1. apparently good or right though lacking real merit; superficially pleasing or plausible: specious arguments.
  2. pleasing to the eye but deceptive.
  3. Obsolete. pleasing to the eye; fair.

Origin of specious

1350–1400; Middle English < Latin speciōsus fair, good-looking, beautiful, equivalent to speci(ēs) (see species) + -ōsus -ous
Related formsspe·cious·ly, adverbspe·cious·ness, nounnon·spe·cious, adjectivenon·spe·cious·ly, adverbnon·spe·cious·ness, nounun·spe·cious, adjectiveun·spe·cious·ly, adverbun·spe·cious·ness, noun
Can be confusedspecie species specious

Synonyms for specious

See more synonyms for on Thesaurus.com
1. See plausible. 2. false, misleading.

Antonyms for specious

1, 2. genuine.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for speciousness

Historical Examples of speciousness

  • Hence we see that the very essence of a fallacy is its speciousness.

    The Verbalist

    Thomas Embly Osmun, (AKA Alfred Ayres)

  • Amidst all the speciousness of their claims, she had "found" them false.

  • Yet there is a speciousness about such an excuse, and we will leave it.

    The Vintage

    Edward Frederic Benson

  • Her speciousness and artifices seduced him into a precipitate marriage.

    Ormond, Volume III (of 3)

    Charles Brockden Brown

  • It has just the speciousness that runs away with young people.

    More Bywords

    Charlotte M. Yonge

British Dictionary definitions for speciousness


  1. apparently correct or true, but actually wrong or false
  2. 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 speciousness



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