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

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

After Police Got Suspicious As time passed, law enforcement in N.Y.C. started to probe York’s possible involvement in criminal enterprises and if his group was being funded by organized bank robberies and counterfeit checks. Christine Pelisek, PEOPLE.com, "4 Things You'll Learn About an Egyptian-Themed Sect Hiding Child Sex Abuse, on Monday's PMI: Cults," 8 July 2018 As fans turn their attention to the matches played in Russia, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officials at ports of entry are focused on catching counterfeit merchandise that arrives at U.S. borders. Alex Park, Houston Chronicle, "CBP seizes hundreds of counterfeit World Cup soccer jerseys," 2 July 2018 Karem Kawamura, 25, pleaded guilty in federal court in Boston on Monday to aiding and abetting the use of a counterfeit access device, prosecutors said in a statement. Alana Levene, BostonGlobe.com, "Brazilian woman pleads guilty in ATM scam, will be deported," 26 June 2018 Counterfeit check, Pearl Road: On April 18, police were dispatched to the Pearl Road Dollar Bank after a teller discovered that a man was suspected of depositing a counterfeit check. John Benson, cleveland.com, "Lincoln Avenue burglar arrested with felony drugs: Parma Police Blotter," 26 Apr. 2018 Somebody provided the businesses with an undisclosed amount of counterfeit cash, police said. Staff Report, chicagotribune.com, "Lincolnshire police: 22-year-old Palatine resident charged with endangering life of a child," 6 July 2018 In 1865, the Secret Service Division of the US Treasury Department was founded in Washington, D.C. with the mission of suppressing counterfeit currency. BostonGlobe.com, "This day in history," 5 July 2018 The film opens on a note of impish farce, as Cassius (Lakeith Stanfield) shows up for an interview with a counterfeit trophy and a phony employee-of-the-month plaque. New York Times, "Review: ‘Sorry to Bother You,’ but Can I Interest You in a Wild Dystopian Satire?," 2 July 2018 Two people were arrested after an investigation revealed they each presented counterfeit currency in two different stores. Kari Barnett, Sun-Sentinel.com, "Boca Raton Area Crime Log: April 11-17," 7 May 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

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 But new credit cards have converted to chip cards that are harder to counterfeit. Danny Hakim, New York Times, "Signing Off on Signing Credit-Card Receipts," 14 Apr. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

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 Official reports of counterfeits are few compared with total sales, which exceed $1 billion a year, according to the Indian Arts and Crafts Board, an agency within the U.S. Department of the Interior. Daniel Grant, WSJ, "What You Need to Know About Buying Native-American Art," 8 June 2018 There was, in theory, no way to tamper with the accounting, no possibility of counterfeit, and no threat of hyperinflation. Gideon Lewis-kraus, WIRED, "The Blockchain: A Love Story—And a Horror Story," 18 June 2018 In a business plagued by counterfeits and all manner of tax evasion and fraud, blockchain digital ledgers may be the best way to track ownership and authenticity across a fragmented market, according to a new report described in the Financial Times. Brittany Shoot, Fortune, "How Much Bitcoin Would You Spend on a Warhol?," 13 June 2018 In the months that followed, FBI agents obtained 802 counterfeit pills containing fentanyl and heroin from both Candace and Tyler Gottlieb. Robert Moran, Philly.com, "Cherry Hill mother and son charged with drug trafficking," 7 June 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

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

Verb

see counterfeit entry 1

Noun

see counterfeit entry 1

Adjective

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

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Statistics for counterfeit

Last Updated

12 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

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

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