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

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

Saad Ahmed, 32, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to traffic in counterfeit goods, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office. Luke Garrett, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Las Vegas businessman pleads guilty to tracking nearly $1.5M in counterfeit electronics," 5 Sep. 2019 Amazon recently announced the launch of a new initiative to combat counterfeit goods, Project Zero. Nicole Saporita, Good Housekeeping, "How Do $40 Fake AirPods Compare to the Real Thing?," 3 Sep. 2019 Other tech platforms have also had trouble stopping the spread of counterfeit goods. Michael Cappetta, NBC News, "On Instagram, counterfeit cash is for sale — and a short search away," 19 July 2019 Nearly a dozen counterfeit checks have been passed at stores this month in Mount Clemens, Troy and Clinton and Shelby townships. Christina Hall, Detroit Free Press, "Fake checks look identical to Macomb Co. Sheriff's Office checks," 17 July 2019 Theft, Detroit Avenue: Police responded about 6:15 p.m. July 3 to PNC Bank regarding a suspect who attempted to cash a counterfeit check. Bruce Geiselman, cleveland.com, "Officers investigate thefts from vehicles: Lakewood Police Blotter," 13 July 2019 Jason Edward Mott, 39, had previously been sentenced to 16 years in prison for running similar scams, was passing counterfeit checks off closed or fictitious accounts to set up auto performance shops and purchase high-dollar merchandise. Houston Chronicle, "Spring mechanic sentenced to 23 years in series of thefts," 3 July 2019 The group directed more than $150,000 in counterfeit checks to be deposited in a scheme that ran for more than a year, Assistant U.S. Attorney Michelle Kerin said. oregonlive.com, "First of alleged ‘God Squad’ defendants accused of recruiting high school students, others to deposit bogus checks pleads guilty," 13 June 2019 Align is a Procter & Gamble brand but a third-party merchant was selling counterfeit Align products on Amazon. Naseem S. Miller, orlandosentinel.com, "Dietary supplements: How to avoid fake products," 14 Aug. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Law enforcement and regulatory agencies tasked with combating the state’s illicit cannabis market could not provide information about how popular brands in California are counterfeited. Los Angeles Times, "Counterfeit cannabis products stoke black market for California weed," 26 Aug. 2019 More widely circulated and easy to counterfeit, their introduction led to a rash of forgery—a hanging offence. R.s., The Economist, "A show at the Bank of England underscores the strange fiction of money," 30 July 2019 There are notes counterfeited as part of Operation Bernhard, a Nazi plot to introduce fake notes to Britain, which prompted the bank to withdraw high-value notes from circulation for a time. R.s., The Economist, "A show at the Bank of England underscores the strange fiction of money," 30 July 2019 But researchers recently discovered an even more blatant black market: counterfeit money and passports. Michael Cappetta, NBC News, "On Instagram, counterfeit cash is for sale — and a short search away," 19 July 2019 The company filed complaints with Amazon about counterfeiting last fall. David Streitfeld, New York Times, "What Happens After Amazon’s Domination Is Complete? Its Bookstore Offers Clues," 23 June 2019 The company filed complaints with Amazon about counterfeiting last fall. David Streitfeld, BostonGlobe.com, "What happens after Amazon’s domination is complete? Its bookstore offers clues," 23 June 2019 The company has been accused of counterfeiting the Supreme brand founded in New York. Khadeeja Safdar, WSJ, "How Supreme Got Pulled Into a Fight for Its Billion-Dollar Brand," 28 June 2019 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

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Further Reading Vaping-illness investigations turn to contaminants, counterfeits: report Vitamin E acetate is generally considered safe for ingestion and topical use. Beth Mole, Ars Technica, "Probe into vaping-linked illnesses turns up form of vitamin E from skin creams [Updated]," 6 Sep. 2019 The counterfeits and imports are generally the least expensive editions, and who can blame people for buying those? David Streitfeld, New York Times, "Paging Big Brother: In Amazon’s Bookstore, Orwell Gets a Rewrite," 19 Aug. 2019 After Zeffirelli, the last of the cultural originalists — an artistic conservative at heart — we’re left with high-tech art that feels counterfeit. Armond White, National Review, "Franco Zeffirelli: Unlikely Conservative Hero," 20 June 2019 Counterfeit Cannabis Clothing, electronics, toys, food … counterfeit products have long been the bane of virtually every industry’s existence. Los Angeles Times, "Newsletter: At sixes and sevens at the G-7," 26 Aug. 2019 Drugs tainted by counterfeit fentanyl are now sold on the streets. Barry Meier, New York Times, "A Nun, a Doctor and a Lawyer — and Deep Regret Over the Nation’s Handling of Opioids," 18 Aug. 2019 There are a lot of counterfeit products out there — bogus designer clothing, fake auto parts, even phony aircraft components. Hiawatha Bray, BostonGlobe.com, "Startup uses diamond dust to root out bogus products," 12 Aug. 2019 While that is helpful, the incidence of counterfeit fraud is declining in the U.S., thanks to the widespread adoption of chip cards. Edward C. Baig, USA TODAY, "Apple Card: Some people will get invitations to apply but rest broader release later this month," 6 Aug. 2019 Amazon acknowledges that counterfeits are an issue among its Marketplace sellers. Maria Halkias, Dallas News, "With Prime Day, Amazon creates urgent shopping on two otherwise nameless summer workdays," 15 July 2019

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

12 Sep 2019

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 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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