counterfeit

adjective
coun·​ter·​feit | \ ˈkau̇n-tər-ˌfit \

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

bogus, fake, false, forged, inauthentic, phony (also phoney), queer, sham, snide, spurious, unauthentic

Synonyms: Verb

fake, forge, phony

Synonyms: Noun

fake, forgery, hoax, humbug, phony (also phoney), sham

Antonyms: Adjective

authentic, bona fide, genuine, real, unfaked

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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

Earlier this year, the White House published research estimating an annual cost of between $250 billion and $600 billion to the U.S. economy from China’s counterfeit goods, pirated software and theft of trade secrets. John D. Stoll, WSJ, "Trump’s Tough China Tack Wins Over Skeptical CEOs," 8 Dec. 2018 An analogy is the approach taken by software programs like Adobe Photoshop to prevent people from creating counterfeit currency. German Lopez, Vox, "The battle to stop 3D-printed guns, explained," 1 Aug. 2018 The Union also flooded the market with counterfeit Confederate currency, and at the end of the war, the bills lost all value. Marlena Scott, Teen Vogue, "The Complete History of Money in America, From Pelts to Pennies," 13 Apr. 2018 Forgery An employee of a business in the 1400 block of Waukegan Road told police March 31 that someone used counterfeit currency to make a purchase. Alexandra Kukulka, chicagotribune.com, "Police: Someone entered Glenview home, stole $7,500 in jewelry," 9 Apr. 2018 Gladden and Meyer were booked at the South Placer jail on charges of possession of counterfeit currency, burglary and conspiracy. Barbara Harvey, sacbee, "They had counterfeit $100 bills in their car – and kept their receipts, Lincoln police say | The Sacramento Bee," 31 Mar. 2018 To prevent people from generating counterfeit currency, the math required to verify a transaction takes so much computing power that no one user or group could do it. Alexander George, Popular Mechanics, "So You Want To Get Started in Cryptocurrency," 13 Mar. 2018 In July 2016, the Drug Enforcement Administration issued a report indicating hundreds of thousands of counterfeit prescription pills have been entering the market since 2014, with some containing deadly amounts of fentanyl. Alexandria Hein, Fox News, "China's fentanyl exports targeted in bipartisan opioid bill," 24 Sep. 2018 Undine sees that her values are counterfeit and is transformed by stages into a poorer but wiser woman. Terry Teachout, WSJ, "‘Fabulation, or the Re-Education of Undine’ Review: A Nottage Revival," 27 Dec. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Not only does fake traffic defraud advertisers, but ads that are served to counterfeit sites rather than legitimate ones deprive publishers and other sites of ad revenue. Suzanne Vranica, WSJ, "U.S. Charges Eight With Online-Ad Fraud," 27 Nov. 2018 Such violations, from counterfeiting famous brands and stealing trade secrets to pressuring companies to share technology with Chinese companies to gain access to China’s vast market, have long angered China’s overseas competitors. Bloomberg.com, "What’s Intellectual Property and Does China Steal It?," 22 Mar. 2018 It is known in the West for counterfeiting money, human rights horrors, cyberattacks and crazy-sounding threats. Bob Drogin, latimes.com, "Here's what you need to know about the Trump-Kim summit in Singapore," 10 June 2018 Eight states—Alaska, Arizona, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oklahoma, South Dakota and Texas—have their own laws governing the sale of fake and counterfeited Native American objects. Daniel Grant, WSJ, "What You Need to Know About Buying Native-American Art," 8 June 2018 AP Burberry is firing legal charges at Target for allegedly counterfeiting its iconic check plaid pattern and confusing consumers in a multi-million dollar fashion knockoff sales campaign. Kevin Mccoy, USA TODAY, "Burberry lawsuit accuses Target of copying its iconic check plaid pattern," 11 May 2018 Why does counterfeit money represent a threat to the nation? Dave Barry, miamiherald, "Classic '98: Funny money," 3 June 2018 So Wun Pak appeared in Johnson County District Court Thursday and pleaded no contest to the felony charge of counterfeiting merchandise worth from $1,000 to $25,000. Tony Rizzo, kansascity, "Prada, Kate Spade goods in Mission store were fake; owner convicted," 31 May 2018 And Pokora had gradually become enmeshed in a series of schemes that would have alarmed his younger self: infiltrating game developers’ networks, counterfeiting an Xbox prototype, even abetting a burglary on Microsoft’s main campus. Brendan I. Koerner, WIRED, "The Young and the Reckless," 17 Apr. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Many academics argue the portrait of Alexander Hamilton, the star of our $10 bills, is a counterfeit. Mark Kennedy, The Seattle Times, "Historians irked by musical ‘Hamilton’ escalate their duel," 4 Feb. 2019 Alcohol makers or their distributors are typically required to have the labels of their products approved by local authorities, to help track sales or recalls, and to keep counterfeits or knockoffs from the market. BostonGlobe.com, "Baker signs bill authorizing $1.8b in program funding," 1 June 2018 Earlier this year, researchers documented several underground services that sold counterfeit signing credentials that are unique to each buyer. Dan Goodin, Ars Technica, "Stolen certificates from D-Link used to sign password-stealing malware," 10 July 2018 My currency was no good with them, counterfeit from the start. Christine Sneed, New York Times, "She’s Here, She’s Queer, She’s Figuring Out What That Means," 11 Apr. 2018 Washington's charity, The Sixth Man Foundation, while operating as Project Contact Africa, used eBay and a PayPal account to facilitate more than $12 million in payments for items that included counterfeit software. Aaron Randle, kansascity, "Former NBA player sentenced in Kansas City to federal prison for fraud, identity theft," 9 July 2018 The items, which ICE finished tallying on Tuesday, constituted the biggest counterfeit seizure for ICE’s Homeland Security Investigation (HSI) in the area. Matt Richardson, Fox News, "ICE says it seized $43M worth of counterfeit items in Laredo, Texas," 6 July 2018 Cobb County police found several counterfeit items inside the home located in the 2500 block of Gordon Circle. Raisa Habersham, ajc, "Man charged after fake money, IDs, credits cards found in Cobb home," 25 May 2018 It was discovered the $100 bill was counterfeit and appeared to have three different counterfeit pieces taped together. Karen Pilarski, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Wauwatosa police report: Tires and rims stolen off four cars in the same parking structure," 17 Jan. 2018

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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Statistics for counterfeit

Last Updated

31 Jan 2019

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Time Traveler for counterfeit

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

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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 \

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 \

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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