bo·​gus | \ ˈbō-gəs How to pronounce bogus (audio) \

Definition of bogus

: not genuine : counterfeit, sham a bogus claim The evidence was completely bogus.

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Other Words from bogus

bogusly adverb
bogusness noun

Bogus Has a Long History

You may know bogus as a slang word meaning "uncool" or simply "no good," but did you know that bogus has actually been a part of English since the early 1800s? Not only was the word coined then, it was actually doing some coining of its own, so to speak. Back then, a bogus was a machine used to make counterfeit coins. No one knows for sure how this coin-copying contraption got its name, but before long bogus had also become a popular noun for funny money itself or for a fraudulent imitation of any kind. The more general "phony" adjective began being used about the same time.

Examples of bogus in a Sentence

It was just a bogus claim. The evidence was completely bogus.

Recent Examples on the Web

Yost's office in 2014 cleared ECOT of wrongdoing when two ECOT employees came forward with allegations of misuse of federal dollars and bogus enrollment numbers. Mary Kilpatrick,, "Steve Dettelbach rolls out ethics proposals, attacks opponent Dave Yost," 28 Mar. 2018 The bogus crash report in September 2016 was but one of dozens of sham claims that cost the insurance giant more than half-a-million dollars, prosecutors say, and led to a series of arrests on Tuesday morning. David Ovalle, miamiherald, "One Lexus, 10 crashes, none real. Rogue adjusters in Miami scammed GEICO, police say," 10 July 2018 Current claims of sexism may be bogus but that doesn’t mean they can’t be lucrative for some 2020 candidates. James Freeman, WSJ, "Gender, Likability and Opportunity," 7 Jan. 2019 The other is the word being hijacked by entrepreneurs, quacks, and charlatans to sell a bogus treatment that allegedly detoxifies your body of toxins you’re supposed to have accumulated. Brittney Mcnamara, Teen Vogue, "Detox Diets Aren't Real or Healthy — and Body "Toxins" Don't Exist," 1 Jan. 2019 And our flying-car fetish has been a bogus panacea all along—every crash would be an air disaster. Smith Henderson, Popular Mechanics, "I Went to the Opening of Elon Musk's First Boring Company Tunnel and Here Is What I Found," 19 Dec. 2018 His book about the costs of bogus science will soon be published by Lyons Press. George Melloan, WSJ, "The Yellow Jackets Are Right About Green Policies," 16 Dec. 2018 Trump has secretive sources of income and murky financial ties to Saudi interests, and keeps touting entirely bogus statistics about the jobs impact of arms sales to Saudi Arabia. Matthew Yglesias, Vox, "There’s nothing “America First” about Trump’s Saudi policy," 21 Nov. 2018 The recent incidents, ranging from injections of malicious computer code to a massive number of bogus requests for voter registration forms, have not been publicly disclosed until now. Casey Newton, The Verge, "Four ways the internet changed the midterm elections," 7 Nov. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'bogus.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of bogus

1825, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for bogus

obsolete argot bogus counterfeit money

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Time Traveler for bogus

The first known use of bogus was in 1825

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English Language Learners Definition of bogus

informal : not real or genuine : fake or false


bo·​gus | \ ˈbō-gəs How to pronounce bogus (audio) \

Kids Definition of bogus

: not genuine The miracle they told us about turned out to be bogus.

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More from Merriam-Webster on bogus

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for bogus

Spanish Central: Translation of bogus

Nglish: Translation of bogus for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of bogus for Arabic Speakers

Comments on bogus

What made you want to look up bogus? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


using a distributed computer network

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