counterfeit

adjective
coun·​ter·​feit | \ ˈkau̇n-tər-ˌfit How to pronounce counterfeit (audio) \

Definition of counterfeit

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1 : made in imitation of something else with intent to deceive : forged counterfeit money a counterfeit diamond
2a : insincere, feigned counterfeit sympathy counterfeit joy at her friend's engagement
b : imitation counterfeit Georgian houses

counterfeit

verb
counterfeited; counterfeiting; counterfeits

Definition of counterfeit (Entry 2 of 3)

transitive verb

: to imitate or feign especially with intent to deceive also : to make a fraudulent replica of counterfeiting $20 bills

intransitive verb

1 : to try to deceive by pretense or dissembling
2 : to engage in counterfeiting something of value

counterfeit

noun

Definition of counterfeit (Entry 3 of 3)

1 : something counterfeit : forgery The $20 bill turned out to be a counterfeit.
2 : something likely to be mistaken for something of higher value Pity was a counterfeit of love …— Harry Hervey

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Other Words from counterfeit

Verb

counterfeiter noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for counterfeit

Synonyms: Adjective

Synonyms: Verb

Synonyms: Noun

Antonyms: Adjective

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Choose the Right Synonym for counterfeit

Verb

assume, affect, pretend, simulate, feign, counterfeit, sham mean to put on a false or deceptive appearance. assume often implies a justifiable motive rather than an intent to deceive. assumed an air of cheerfulness around the patients affect implies making a false show of possessing, using, or feeling. affected an interest in art pretend implies an overt and sustained false appearance. pretended that nothing had happened simulate suggests a close imitation of the appearance of something. cosmetics that simulate a suntan feign implies more artful invention than pretend, less specific mimicry than simulate. feigned sickness counterfeit implies achieving the highest degree of verisimilitude of any of these words. an actor counterfeiting drunkenness sham implies an obvious falseness that fools only the gullible. shammed a most unconvincing limp

Noun

imposture, fraud, sham, fake, humbug, counterfeit mean a thing made to seem other than it is. imposture applies to any situation in which a spurious object or performance is passed off as genuine. their claim of environmental concern is an imposture fraud usually implies a deliberate perversion of the truth. the diary was exposed as a fraud sham applies to fraudulent imitation of a real thing or action. condemned the election as a sham fake implies an imitation of or substitution for the genuine but does not necessarily imply dishonesty. these jewels are fakes; the real ones are in the vault humbug suggests elaborate pretense usually so flagrant as to be transparent. creating publicity by foisting humbugs on a gullible public counterfeit applies especially to the close imitation of something valuable. 20-dollar bills that were counterfeits

Examples of counterfeit in a Sentence

Adjective The concert ticket is counterfeit. counterfeit currency that had been passed all over town Verb They were counterfeiting money in his garage. an expert at counterfeiting money Noun the will as well as the other documents turned out to be counterfeits
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Despite the counterfeit supplies hitting the state, 3M has expedited an order of 1 million masks to help backfill supplies, according to the hospital association. NBC News, "Washington state hospitals learn their supply of N95 masks contain fakes," 8 Feb. 2021 She was even wanted by federal authorities in 1961 for being allegedly involved in a counterfeit operation and in 1962 for jumping bail. Ashley Chervinski, refinery29.com, "How Elizabeth Carmichael Went From Small Time Scams To Running An Infamous Car Company," 31 Jan. 2021 To date, more than 7 million counterfeit respirators have been seized. Joe Carlson, Star Tribune, "Company agrees to surrender a half-million counterfeit N95 masks to the state to be destroyed," 22 Dec. 2020 Police received a call Jan. 12 that someone distributed $10 counterfeit bills at Dollar General. cleveland, "Reality mobile game uses local spot to catch creatures: Olmsted Falls Police Blotter," 15 Jan. 2021 Floyd, a 46-year-old black man, was apprehended on May 25 after allegedly using a counterfeit $20 bill. Carly Roman, Washington Examiner, "Former police officers charged in George Floyd's death to be tried separately," 12 Jan. 2021 The 46-year-old Black man died after being handcuffed and restrained face down on a South Minneapolis street by police responding to a 911 call about a counterfeit $20 bill that had been passed at a local convenience store. Washington Post, "Fatal shooting by police sets off protest in Minneapolis," 31 Dec. 2020 Sergio’s Fresh Mexican Grill, 660 E. Route 22, at 6 p.m. Dec. 4 after it was revealed both counterfeit bills had the same serial number. chicagotribune.com, "Same woman believed to have used counterfeit money at two Lake Zurich restaurants: Police," 15 Dec. 2020 The woman was charged with passing counterfeit money and turned over to Parma police. cleveland, "Boy, 17, leads police on chase after throwing flower pot through window of ex-girlfriend’s house: Solon police blotter," 14 Jan. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Unfortunately, though, the existing federal plans in the United States call for providing those vaccinated merely with a paper document, a decidedly 20th-century approach that would not meet public health needs and that would be easy to counterfeit. Richard H. Thaler, Star Tribune, "Give early vaccinations to the highest bidders," 12 Dec. 2020 There’s no proof that a foreign adversary is trying to counterfeit ballots. The Editorial Board, WSJ, "Trump Says Vote Early and Often," 3 Sep. 2020 Previously, exported medical products only had to have the certifications in receiving countries, such as the European Union’s CE certification, which could be easily counterfeited in China. Los Angeles Times, "Faulty masks. Flawed tests. China’s quality control problem in leading global COVID-19 fight," 10 Apr. 2020 The report also called on tech companies to more aggressively screen their vendors and create restrictions on products that are more likely to be counterfeited. Fortune, "House lawmakers urge Amazon and eBay to beef up fight against counterfeit goods," 4 Mar. 2020 And as sanctions have tightened and Pyongyang’s efforts to counterfeit $100 bills proved less successful, the North has turned to its hackers as a revenue source — often with considerable success. David E. Sanger, New York Times, "U.S. Accuses North Korea of Cyberattacks, a Sign That Deterrence Is Failing," 15 Apr. 2020 The company is also expanding its authentication efforts as marquee brands are increasingly counterfeited. Anh-minh Le, WSJ, "How the Failure of Pets.com Spurred Julie Wainwright’s RealReal Success," 5 Feb. 2020 In hopes of slowing counterfeiting’s spread, Electrolux and its U.S. subsidiary Frigidaire are both working to raise its profile. oregonlive, "Buy a new refrigerator water filter? It might be a dangerous fake," 15 Jan. 2020 This makes the ticket impossible to counterfeit, and tightens artist/promoter/ticketer/team/venue control over how, when and at what price a ticket can be transferred. Brandon Ross, Billboard, "How Ticketmaster's Sworn Enemy, Pearl Jam, Became Its New Best Friend (Guest Column)," 31 Jan. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Copycats are afoot, complete with a counterfeit of Milou's signature. Star Tribune, "Why do we need to make Kamala Harris superhuman?," 28 Jan. 2021 Even crooks are worried about authenticity, about not getting duped by a counterfeit, Mr. van Betten said. New York Times, "The Mystery of the Painting Thieves Love," 18 Jan. 2021 Cincinnati: Agents in the city seized 6,080 counterfeit 3M masks from Hong Kong earlier this month, according to a release from U.S. Customs and Border Protection. From Usa Today Network And Wire Reports, USA TODAY, "Vaccine relief, ‘cooking the virus,’ drive-in legislating: News from around our 50 states," 17 Dec. 2020 Officers at the Ysleta Cargo Facility in El Paso intercepted the shipment of counterfeit 3M N95 masks on Dec. 3, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) said in a statement. Fox News, "Border agents, ICE seize more than 100,000 counterfeit N95 masks in Texas warehouse," 11 Dec. 2020 Immigration and Customs Enforcement and Customs and Border Protection officials seized more than 100,000 counterfeit 3M surgical masks in El Paso, Texas, on their way to a hospital on the East Coast. Tyler Van Dyke, Washington Examiner, "Customs officers seize more than 100,000 counterfeit N95 masks heading for hospital," 9 Dec. 2020 Officials also recovered 131 firearms, more than $145,000 in cash and 3,027 counterfeit Fentanyl pills, the Marshals Service said. Brieanna J. Frank, The Arizona Republic, "Six-week operation leads to 140 violent fugitive arrests in Valley," 27 Sep. 2020 Among the dozens of instances in which e precedes i in uncapitalized words are this dozen: caffeine, counterfeit, deity, feisty, heifer, height, herein, leisure, protein, reign, seize and weird. Richard Lederer, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Under the spell of the rule ‘I before e, except after c’," 5 Sep. 2020 The story of how one brand of counterfeits has infiltrated America’s supply chains illustrates how the lack of coordination amid massive shortages has plunged the country’s medical system into chaos. Martha Mendoza, Fortune, "‘It’s just unprecedented’: Counterfeit face masks are reaching frontline health care workers in U.S.," 13 May 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'counterfeit.' 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 counterfeit

Adjective

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb

14th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense

Noun

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for counterfeit

Adjective, Verb, and Noun

Middle English countrefet, from Anglo-French cuntrefeit, from past participle of cuntrefere, contrefaire to imitate, from cuntre- + faire to make, from Latin facere — more at do

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Time Traveler for counterfeit

Time Traveler

The first known use of counterfeit was in the 14th century

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Statistics for counterfeit

Last Updated

20 Feb 2021

Cite this Entry

“Counterfeit.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/counterfeit. Accessed 25 Feb. 2021.

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More Definitions for counterfeit

counterfeit

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of counterfeit

 (Entry 1 of 3)

: made to look like an exact copy of something in order to trick people

counterfeit

verb

English Language Learners Definition of counterfeit (Entry 2 of 3)

: to make an exact copy of (something) in order to trick people

counterfeit

noun

English Language Learners Definition of counterfeit (Entry 3 of 3)

: something that is made to look like an exact copy of something else in order to trick people

counterfeit

adjective
coun·​ter·​feit | \ ˈkau̇n-tər-ˌfit How to pronounce counterfeit (audio) \

Kids Definition of counterfeit

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1 : made in exact imitation of something genuine and meant to be taken as genuine counterfeit money
2 : not sincere counterfeit sympathy

counterfeit

verb
counterfeited; counterfeiting

Kids Definition of counterfeit (Entry 2 of 3)

1 : to imitate or copy especially in order to deceive Modern money is difficult to counterfeit.
2 : pretend sense 2 She tried to counterfeit enthusiasm.

Other Words from counterfeit

counterfeiter noun

counterfeit

noun

Kids Definition of counterfeit (Entry 3 of 3)

: something made to imitate another thing with the desire to deceive The 100 dollar bill turned out to be a counterfeit.

counterfeit

adjective
coun·​ter·​feit | \ ˈkau̇n-tər-ˌfit How to pronounce counterfeit (audio) \

Legal Definition of counterfeit

 (Entry 1 of 3)

: made in imitation of a genuine article (as a document) without authorization and especially with intent to deceive or defraud

counterfeit

transitive verb

Legal Definition of counterfeit (Entry 2 of 3)

: to make an imitation of without authorization and especially with intent to deceive or defraud whoever falsely makes, alters, forges, or counterfeits any deedU.S. Code

Other Words from counterfeit

counterfeiter noun

counterfeit

noun

Legal Definition of counterfeit (Entry 3 of 3)

: something counterfeit all counterfeits of any coins or obligationsU.S. Code — compare forgery

History and Etymology for counterfeit

Adjective

Middle French contrefait, past participle of contrefaire to imitate, draw, paint, from contre- counter- + faire to make

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