adjective pho·ny \ˈfō-nē\

: 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

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

Variants of PHONY

pho·ny also pho·ney \ˈfō-nē\

Examples of PHONY

  1. <a phony watch with a designer logo>
  2. <she always has this phony smile just before she betrays you>

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



: 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

plural pho·nies also phoneys

Full Definition of PHONY

:  one that is phony

Variants of PHONY

phony also phoney

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!

First Known Use of PHONY




Definition of PHONY

transitive verb
:  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>

First Known Use of PHONY



Next Word in the Dictionary: -phonyPrevious Word in the Dictionary: phonus bolonusAll Words Near: phony
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