[ spee-shuhs ]
See synonyms for: speciousspeciouslyspeciousness 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.

  1. Obsolete. pleasing to the eye; fair.

Origin of specious

First recorded in 1350–1400; Middle English, from Latin speciōsus “fair, good-looking, beautiful,” equivalent to speci(ēs) (see species) + -ōsus adjective suffix; see -ous

synonym study For specious

1. See plausible.

Other words for specious

Opposites for specious

Other words from specious

  • 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

Words that may be confused with specious

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use specious in a sentence

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

    The Vintage | Edward Frederic Benson

British Dictionary definitions for specious


/ (ˈspiːʃəs) /

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

  2. deceptively attractive in appearance

Origin of specious

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

Derived forms of specious

  • 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