bo·​gus | \ˈbō-gəs \

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

Calling the charges against Mr. Brunson bogus, the Trump administration imposed economic sanctions against top Turkish officials to pressure authorities to release him. Peter Nicholas, WSJ, "With Pastor Freed, Trump Looks to Reap Political Dividends," 16 Oct. 2018 Just the idea that beige is a one-size-fits-all solution to nude is bogus. Jessica Cruel, SELF, "9 Nude Bra and Underwear Options That Really Work for Brown Skin," 20 July 2018 Turns out, the name Lars Andersson was bogus, as was his (or her) purported affiliation. Adam Marcus,, "A perplexing pseudonym," 17 June 2018 The opening music is slightly ominous, leading into the voice of John Dickerson, of CBS News, intoning about the bogus stories that flourished on the platform during the 2016 election. Nicholas Thompson, WIRED, "Exclusive: Facebook Opens Up About False News," 23 May 2018 Facebook has repeatedly pledged since the election to combat bogus stories and play a more active role in promoting authentic content — with executives suddenly acknowledging that the company could no longer sit on the sidelines. Nathan Bomey, USA TODAY, "How Facebook fired workers who blocked 'fake news' — 'After the Fact' book excerpt," 6 May 2018 Concern over bogus stories online has escalated in recent months because of evidence the Russians spread disinformation on social media during the 2016 presidential campaign to sow discord in the U.S. and damage Hillary Clinton. CBS News, "False stories travel faster than the truth on Twitter, study finds," 8 Mar. 2018 Armed with your Social Security number and birthdate, a thief can still file a bogus tax return in your name, steal your health benefits, apply for a job or get a driver’s license in your name. NBC News, "Credit freezes will soon be free for everyone," 14 June 2018 But on the other hand, these are fabricated claims and are completely bogus and without merit. Dave Quinn,, "Jeff Lewis Joked Surrogate Should 'Have Waxed' Before Delivering His Daughter on TV," 14 June 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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Statistics for bogus

Last Updated

25 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for bogus

The first known use of bogus was in 1825

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More Definitions for bogus



English Language Learners Definition of bogus

: not real or genuine : fake or false


bo·​gus | \ˈbō-gəs \

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

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