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1

phony

adjective pho·ny \ˈfō-nē\

Simple Definition of phony

  • : not true, real, or genuine : intended to make someone think something that is not true

  • of a person : not honest or sincere : saying things that are meant to deceive people

Full Definition of phony

pho·ni·erpho·ni·est

  1. :  not genuine or real: as a (1) :  intended to deceive or mislead (2) :  intended to defraud :  counterfeit b :  arousing suspicion :  probably dishonest <something phony about the story> c :  having no basis in fact :  fictitious <phony publicity stories> d :  false, sham <a phony name> e :  making a false show: as (1) :  hypocritical (2) :  specious <has a phony poetic elegance — New Republic>

pho·ni·ly play \ˈfō-ni-lē\ adverb
pho·ni·ness play \ˈfō-nē-nəs\ noun

Examples of phony

  1. <a phony watch with a designer logo>

  2. <she always has this phony smile just before she betrays you>



Variants of phony

also pho·ney play \ˈfō-nē\

Origin of phony

perhaps alteration of fawney gilded brass ring used in the fawney rig, a confidence game, from Irish fáinne ring, from Old Irish ánne — more at anus


First Known Use: 1893

Rhymes with phony


2

phony

noun pho·ny

Simple Definition of phony

  • : a person who pretends to be someone else or to have feelings or abilities that he or she does not really have : a person who is not sincere

  • : something that is not real or genuine

Full Definition of phony

plural pho·nies also phoneys

  1. :  one that is phony

Examples of phony

  1. According to him, politics is full of phonies.

  2. I don't think she ever meant to help us. What a phony!



1902

First Known Use of phony

1902

Variants of phony

also phoney

3

phony

verb pho·ny

Definition of phony

pho·niedpho·ny·ing

  1. transitive verb
  2. :  counterfeit, fake —often used with up <a paper phonied up on the spur of the moment — William Faulkner>



Examples of phony

  1. <the terrorists were able to move around the country using phonied driver's licenses>



1940

First Known Use of phony

1940


-phony

noun combining form pho·ny

Definition of -phony

  1. 1 :  sound <telephony>

  2. 2 usually -phonia :  speech disorder of a (specified) type <dysphonia>



Variants of -phony

also -phonia

Origin of -phony

Latin -phonia, from Greek -phōnia, from -phōnos sounding — more at -phone



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