\ ˈfāk How to pronounce fake (audio) \
faker; fakest

Definition of fake

 (Entry 1 of 5)

: not true, real, or genuine : counterfeit, sham He was wearing a fake mustache. She held up the bowl to the window light and smiled her fakest smile yet …— Lee Durkee From the well-known to the unknown, fake news, misinformation and hate rhetoric are causing harm to many individuals.— Dolar Popat


noun (1)

Definition of fake (Entry 2 of 5)

: one that is not what it purports to be: such as
a : a worthless imitation passed off as genuine The signature was a fake.
b : impostor, charlatan He told everyone that he was a lawyer, but he was just a fake.
c : a simulated movement in a sports contest (such as a pretended kick, pass, or jump or a quick movement in one direction before going in another) designed to deceive an opponent
d : a device or apparatus used by a magician to achieve the illusion of magic in a trick


verb (1)
faked; faking

Definition of fake (Entry 3 of 5)

transitive verb

1 : to alter, manipulate, or treat so as to give a spuriously (see spurious sense 2) genuine appearance to : doctor faked the lab results
2 : counterfeit, simulate, concoct faked a heart attack
3 : to deceive (an opponent) in a sports contest by means of a fake (see fake entry 2 sense c)
4 : improvise, ad-lib whistle a few bars … and I'll fake the rest— Robert Sylvester

intransitive verb

1 : to engage in faking something : pretend sometimes used with it if you don't have the answers, fake it
2 : to give a fake to an opponent The runner faked left and then cut to the right.


noun (2)

Definition of fake (Entry 4 of 5)

: one loop of a coil (as of ship's rope or a fire hose) coiled free for running


verb (2)
faked; faking

Definition of fake (Entry 5 of 5)

transitive verb

: to coil in fakes

Other Words from fake

Verb (1)

faker noun
fakery \ ˈfā-​k(ə-​)rē How to pronounce fake (audio) \ noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for fake

Synonyms: Adjective

Synonyms: Noun (1)

Synonyms: Verb (1)

Antonyms: Adjective

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Noun (1)

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 fake in a Sentence

Adjective That blood is clearly fake. He was wearing a fake mustache.

First Known Use of fake


1879, in the meaning defined above

Noun (1)

1829, in the meaning defined above

Verb (1)

1819, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

Noun (2)

1627, in the meaning defined above

Verb (2)

15th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for fake


derivative of fake entry 2

Note: Not recorded as an adjective before 1879. The supposed use by the British general Richard Howe in a dispatch from Boston to the Secretary of State dated December 3, 1775 ("So many artifices have been practiced upon Strangers under the appearance of Friendship, fake Pilots &c."; Report Concerning Canadian Archives for the Year 1904, Ottawa, 1905, p. 355) is most likely a misreading (perhaps for faux or false?).

Noun (1)

derivative of fake entry 3

Verb (1)

originally underworld argot, of uncertain origin

Note: The verb fake perhaps first appears in print, in the form faik, in 1810. In James Hardy Vaux's "A New and Comprehensive Vocabulary of the Flash Language" (vol. 2 of Hardy's Memoirs, London, 1819), it receives a very general definition: "a word so variously used, that I can only illustrate it by a few examples. To fake any person or place, may signify to rob them; to fake a person, may also imply to shoot, wound, or cut; to fake a man out and out, is to kill him; a man who inflicts wounds upon, or otherwise disfigures, himself, for any sinister purpose, is said to have faked himself … to fake a screeve, is to write a letter, or other paper; to fake a screw, is to shape out a skeleton or false key, for the purpose of screwing a particular place; to fake a cly, is to pick a pocket; etc., etc., etc." (p. 170). However, Hardy also records bit-faking "coining base money" and both Vaux and the earlier Lexicon Balatronicum (London, 1811, a revision of Francis Grose's Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue, 1785) record fakement in the sense "forgery." so the sense "to simulate, counterfeit" was perhaps part of its original meaning. Much earlier is the agent noun faker, defined as "maker" in a list of "Canting Terms used by Beggars, Vagabonds, Cheaters, Cripples and Bedlams." in Randle Holme's The Academy of Armory (Chester, 1688) (a book about heraldry that includes a miscellany of information having nothing to do with heraldry). Along with faker Holme lists Ben-Fakers, "Counterfeiters of Passes and Seals" (ben is defined as "good"). This expression occurs earlier as ben-feaker in Thomas Dekker's pamphlet on cant, O per se O. Or A new cryer of Lanthorne and candle-light (London, 1612): "Of Ben-feakers of Jybes …They who are Counterfeiters of Passeports, are called Ben-feakers , that is to say, Good-Makers." (It is possible that Holme simply copied his entries from Dekker.) The noun feaker/faker implies a corresponding verb feak/fake "make," for which there appears to be no certain evidence. There is feague, fegue "to beat, whip" (earliest in the compound bumfeage) and "to wear out, bring about the ruin of," which are colloquial—the second sense is only attested in Restoration drama—but not argot, and which have a voiced velar consonant (aside from a single occurrence of a participle feakt). A suggestion dating back to Nathan Bailey's An Universal Etymological English Dictionary (4th edition, 1728) is that this word is borrowed from Dutch vegen "to sweep"; compare also German fegen "to wipe, clean, sweep." For further discussion see Anatoly Liberman, "A fake etymology of the word fake," OUPblog, August 23, 2017.

Noun (2)

probably derivative of fake entry 5

Verb (2)

Middle English faken, of obscure origin

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Time Traveler for fake

Time Traveler

The first known use of fake was in the 15th century

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Dictionary Entries Near fake



fake book

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Cite this Entry

“Fake.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/fake. Accessed 18 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for fake


\ ˈfāk How to pronounce fake (audio) \

Kids Definition of fake

 (Entry 1 of 3)

: not true or real The fake spider frightened me.



Kids Definition of fake (Entry 2 of 3)

: a person or thing that is not really what is pretended The diamond is a fake.


faked; faking

Kids Definition of fake (Entry 3 of 3)

1 : pretend sense 2 faking surprise
2 : to change or treat in a way that gives a false effect She faked the test results.
3 : to imitate in order to deceive fake a signature

More from Merriam-Webster on fake

Nglish: Translation of fake for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of fake for Arabic Speakers


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