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mendacious

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adjective men·da·cious \men-ˈdā-shəs\

Simple Definition of mendacious

  • : not honest : likely to tell lies

  • : based on lies

Full Definition of mendacious

  1. :  given to or characterized by deception or falsehood or divergence from absolute truth <mendacious tales of his adventures>

men·da·cious·ly adverb
men·da·cious·ness noun

Examples of mendacious

  1. Indeed, the racist and Malthusian elements in Darwin's work are subjects on which the new secularists are either silent, delicate, or mendacious. —Eugene McCarraher, Commonweal, 15 June 2007

  2. A choice item in the collection of mendacious stories that were circulated about Columbus after his death is this. Columbus lost himself on the way to Hispaniola, and only by virtue of letters and pilots sent by Martín Alonso did he manage to find the island and join Pinta. —Samuel Eliot Morison, Admiral of the Ocean Sea, 1942

  3. Mildred had become great friends with her and had given her an elaborate but mendacious account of the circumstances which had brought her to the pass she was in. —W. Somerset Maugham, Of Human Bondage, 1915

  4. The newspaper story was mendacious and hurtful.

  5. <that tabloid routinely publishes the most moronically mendacious stories about celebrities>



Origin of mendacious

Latin mendac-, mendax — more at amend


First Known Use: 1616

Synonym Discussion of mendacious

dishonest, deceitful, mendacious, untruthful mean unworthy of trust or belief. dishonest implies a willful perversion of truth in order to deceive, cheat, or defraud <a swindle usually involves two dishonest people>. deceitful usually implies an intent to mislead and commonly suggests a false appearance or double-dealing <the secret affairs of a deceitful spouse>. mendacious may suggest bland or even harmlessly mischievous deceit and when used of people often suggests a habit of telling untruths <mendacious tales of adventure>. untruthful stresses a discrepancy between what is said and fact or reality <an untruthful account of their actions>.


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