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 Through the phishing emails linking users to Google Documents, bad actors used the bogus files to install malware. Brooke Crothers, Forbes, 12 June 2021 Now those bogus photographs no longer satisfy Delta’s emotional needs. Oline H. Cogdill,, 8 June 2021 Some may still believe the wildly-bogus idea that vaccines contain tracking chips. Paul Sisson, San Diego Union-Tribune, 6 June 2021 High demand for medications and a dearth of local production facilities have made the continent a hot spot for the sale of bogus medicine. Alexandra Wexler, WSJ, 6 June 2021 Once again, the narrative was set by a few key outlets and opinion-makers on dubious or erroneous grounds, and then the bogus orthodoxy was enforced by cable-news hosts, Twitter mobs, and social-media companies. Rich Lowry, National Review, 1 June 2021 As the Bitcoin buzz has been building, scammers have been dangling bogus investments, pretending to be someone else at times and duping consumers in record numbers. Susan Tompor, Detroit Free Press, 26 May 2021 Three hundred Black people are believed to have been murdered by hundreds of white men who descended on the Greenwood district in response to a bogus rape claim that implicated a Black teenager. Star Tribune, 26 May 2021 Some of the most common phishing attacks involve hackers sending bogus emails resembling messages from banks or colleagues. Jonathan Vanian, Fortune, 25 May 2021

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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Statistics for bogus

Last Updated

16 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Bogus.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 Jun. 2021.

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More Definitions for bogus



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.

More from Merriam-Webster on bogus

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for bogus

Nglish: Translation of bogus for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of bogus for Arabic Speakers


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