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

Definition of bogus

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

Keep scrolling for more

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 The bogus links will send you to a webpage that looks like a Microsoft SharePoint website, requiring the user to sign in with a personal Google, Apple, Yahoo! Alexandria Burris, The Indianapolis Star, "Beware of that email. Here's why state and federal officials say it might be a scam.," 7 July 2020 In an alert, the DOJ said the bogus cards circulating online claim the holder does not have to abide by ordinances requiring face mask usage, claiming that doing so poses a mental or physical health risk. Chronicle Staff,, "Coronavirus news from the Bay Area: June 26-27," 28 June 2020 The theory soon appeared in bogus publications like The Vigilant Citizen and The New Nationalist on Facebook and Instagram. Sheera Frenkel,, "‘PizzaGate’ conspiracy theory thrives anew in the TikTok era," 27 June 2020 Baseball’s idea of creativity is placing an artificial runner on second base in extra innings, so a phony run will score for a bogus result. Bruce Jenkins,, "As baseball plans its return, some suggestions for a much-needed overhaul," 23 June 2020 Voting experts and election officials swiftly disputed the claim, characterizing the warning as a bogus conspiracy and pointing to safeguards that states use to protect the authenticity of absentee ballots and envelopes. Joey Garrison, USA TODAY, "'Nonsense': Election experts reject Trump's claim that foreign countries could counterfeit millions of mail-in ballots," 23 June 2020 The Look was a particular type of glance Gray got often—a combination of burning curiosity barely masked by bogus nonchalance. David Canfield,, "First look: Frankly in Love breakout David Yoon returns with another fizzy rom-com," 22 June 2020 Trump Campaign Manager Brad Parscale dismissed the notion that the bogus reservation campaign impacted the rally's attendance. NBC News, "Trump 'furious' about low Tulsa turnout, a 'heinous' NASCAR discovery, and Dems to probe SDNY drama," 21 June 2020 Michael Fesser on Thursday met with the acting chief of the West Linn Police Department, his first time returning to the police station since he was summoned there days after his bogus 2017 arrest to recover belongings improperly seized from him. oregonlive, "Two sons of former NBA player Brian Grant, a West Linn resident, ask Portland’s Michael Fesser to speak at anti-racism rally," 19 June 2020

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.

See More

First Known Use of bogus

1825, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for bogus

obsolete argot bogus counterfeit money

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about bogus

Time Traveler for bogus

Time Traveler

The first known use of bogus was in 1825

See more words from the same year

Listen to Our Podcast about bogus

Statistics for bogus

Last Updated

9 Jul 2020

Cite this Entry

“Bogus.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 10 Jul. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for bogus


How to pronounce bogus (audio)

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.

Keep scrolling for more

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).


See Definitions and Examples »

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Words for Summer: A Quiz

  • a closeup of a sunflower
  • Which of the following words means “of or relating to summer”?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Dictionary Devil

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!