[ spyoor-ee-uhs ]
/ ˈspyʊər i əs /


not genuine, authentic, or true; not from the claimed, pretended, or proper source; counterfeit.
Biology. (of two or more parts, plants, etc.) having a similar appearance but a different structure.
of illegitimate birth; bastard.

Nearby words

  1. spurge,
  2. spurge family,
  3. spurge laurel,
  4. spurgeon,
  5. spurgeon, charles haddon,
  6. spurious ankylosis,
  7. spurious wing,
  8. spuriously,
  9. spurn,
  10. spurred

Origin of spurious

1590–1600; < Latin spurius bastard, perhaps < Etruscan; see -ous

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

Examples from the Web for spurious

British Dictionary definitions for spurious


/ (ˈspjʊərɪəs) /


not genuine or real
(of a plant part or organ) having the appearance of another part but differing from it in origin, development, or function; falsea spurious fruit
(of radiation) produced at an undesired frequency by a transmitter, causing interference, etc
rare illegitimate
Derived Formsspuriously, adverbspuriousness, noun

Word Origin for spurious

C17: from Latin spurius of illegitimate birth

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 spurious



1590s, "born out of wedlock," from Latin spurius "illegitimate, false" (cf. Italian spurio, Spanish espurio), from spurius (n.) "illegitimate child," probably from Etruscan spural "public." Sense of "having an irregular origin, not properly constituted" is from c.1600; that of "false, sham" is from 1610s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Medicine definitions for spurious


[ spyurē-əs ]


Similar in appearance or symptoms but unrelated in morphology or pathology; false.

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