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1

phony

play
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

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of phony

phonier

phoniest

  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>

phonily

play \ˈfō-ni-lē\ adverb

phoniness

play \ˈfō-nē-nəs\ noun

Examples of phony in a sentence

  1. <a phony watch with a designer logo>

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



Did You Know?

It's the backstory of phony that deserves our attention. Phony (which dates from the early 1900s) is believed to be an alteration of the British fawney, the word for a gilded brass ring used in a confidence game called the "fawney rig." In this game, the trickster drops a ring (or a purse with some valuables in it) and runs to pick the item up at the same time as the poor sap who notices it on the ground. The trickster asserts that the found treasure should be split between them. The one who's "found" the item, convinced now of its value, chooses instead to give the con artist some money in order to keep the item, which is, of course, phony.

Variants of phony

also

phoney

Origin and Etymology 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


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

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of phony

plural

phonies

also

phoneys

  1. :  one that is phony

Examples of phony in a sentence

  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

phonied

phonying

  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 in a sentence

  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 and Etymology of -phony

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


PHONY Defined for Kids

1

phony

play
adjective pho·ny \ˈfō-nē\

Definition of phony for Students

phonier

phoniest

  1. :  not real or genuine <a phony dollar bill> <The principal's laugh sounded phony … — Andrew Clements, Frindle>



Variants of phony

also

phoney

\ˈfō-nē\

2

phony

play
noun pho·ny

Definition of phony for Students

plural

phonies

also

phoneys

  1. 1 :  a person who is not sincere

  2. 2 :  something that is not real or genuine



Variants of phony

also

phoney



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