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

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from counterfeit

Verb

counterfeiter noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for counterfeit

Synonyms: Adjective

Synonyms: Verb

Synonyms: Noun

Antonyms: Adjective

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

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
See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Based the seller complaints, Wenham believed there was a real risk of harm should the battery fluid leak from a counterfeit product onto a sleeping baby. Pamela Boykoff And Clare Sebastian, CNN, "Fake and dangerous kids products are turning up for sale on Amazon," 20 Dec. 2019 At a recent White House meeting with health groups, vaping advocates and tobacco executives, Trump expressed concerns that a flavored e-cigarette ban could lead to a rise in counterfeit products. BostonGlobe.com, "Senate confirms Stephen Hahn, an oncologist, as FDA commissioner - The Boston Globe," 13 Dec. 2019 There’s no evidence that at least 11 victims who used cannabis vape products used counterfeit products, the Oregon Health Authority has said. oregonlive, "Vaping-related lung illness epidemic has likely peaked, feds say," 6 Dec. 2019 This privilege is typically reserved for must-have brands, like Apple, that have enough leverage to get Amazon to accommodate their concern over counterfeit products. Wired, "Amazon Doesn’t Favor Its Own Brands—Except When It Does," 24 Nov. 2019 Donald Trump took a similar tact in a Friday evening tweet, calling for safe cigarette alternatives as well as bans on underage sales and counterfeit vaping products. CBS News, "Teen with vape-related lung illness sues e-cigarette maker Juul Labs," 13 Sep. 2019 Jeffrey Knop said police are still determining whether the bills were counterfeit. Cathy Kozlowicz, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Thieves may have used counterfeit money to purchase iPhones from Best Buy, police say," 20 Dec. 2019 Police say fans buying from a second or third party sources could find out that their tickets are invalid or counterfeit. Houston Chronicle, "Boston police: Beware of counterfeit Super Bowl LII tickets," 27 Jan. 2018 There was no further information on the source of the counterfeit bill at the time of the report. Brian Lisik, cleveland, "Police investigate counterfeit bill passed at Speedway store: Brunswick Police Blotter," 15 Dec. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Larry was counterfeiting tickets to shows booked by other promoters. oregonlive, "Larry Hurwitz, the ‘Starry Night Murder,’ and a life of crime: Reporter Jim Redden on his years tracking a killer," 17 Sep. 2019 Hurwitz immediately accused Tim of counterfeiting the tickets. oregonlive, "Larry Hurwitz, the ‘Starry Night Murder,’ and a life of crime: Reporter Jim Redden on his years tracking a killer," 17 Sep. 2019 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 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Properly understood, counterfeit goods aren’t even really a trade question at all: There are counterfeits produced right here in the United States, too. Kevin D. Williamson, National Review, "How to Deal with the Counterfeit Goods Problem," 22 Dec. 2019 But counterfeits of those legitimate brands have flooded the market around the country, forcing some to redesign their packaging. Mike Stobbe, Anchorage Daily News, "Vaping brands associated with outbreak of lung illness identified by federal health officials," 6 Dec. 2019 Often times the counterfeits are priced competitively just below a genuine product to avoid scrutiny by the consumer. Sarah Ladd, The Courier-Journal, "Louisville customs agents seize $95 million in counterfeit goods over 3 months," 27 Nov. 2019 For years, the only Nike products sold on Amazon were gray-market items -- and counterfeits -- sold by others. Fortune, "Nike Is Breaking Up With Amazon," 13 Nov. 2019 But counterfeits of those legitimate brands have flooded the market around the country, forcing some to redesign their packaging. Mike Stobbe, chicagotribune.com, "Officials list pot vape brands reported in US outbreak," 9 Dec. 2019 Often times the counterfeits are priced competitively just below a genuine product to avoid scrutiny by the consumer. Sarah Ladd, USA TODAY, "Customs agents seize $95M in counterfeit goods along with thousands of fake IDs," 28 Nov. 2019 The $1800 stubs were confirmed counterfeits and both men were arrested. Rebecca Hennes, Houston Chronicle, "Beware of counterfeit World Series tickets and merchandise," 29 Oct. 2019 Thousands of counterfeit Nike shoes, worth an estimated $2.2 million, have been seized at the Los Angeles/Long Beach seaport, federal officials announced Wednesday. CBS News, "Feds seize $2.2 million worth of fake Nike shoes at Southern California seaport," 11 Oct. 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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about counterfeit

Time Traveler for counterfeit

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Statistics for counterfeit

Last Updated

17 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Counterfeit.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/counterfeiting. Accessed 17 January 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for counterfeit

counterfeit

adjective
How to pronounce counterfeit (audio)

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

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on counterfeit

What made you want to look up counterfeit? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

a plan in which a last survivor takes all

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

The Eponym Quiz

  • rubens painting
  • Which is the best synonym of bowdlerize?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Dictionary Devil

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

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

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