1

fake

adjective \ ˈfāk \
|Updated on: 12 Jun 2018

Definition of fake

faker; fakest
: 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

Examples of fake in a Sentence

  1. That blood is clearly fake.

  2. He was wearing a fake mustache.

Origin and Etymology of fake

derivative of 2fake
Note: Not recorded as an adjective before the 1880's. 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?).


2

fake

noun

Definition of fake

: 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

Origin and Etymology of fake

derivative of 3fake

Synonym Discussion of fake

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

3

fake

verb

Definition of fake

faked; faking
1 : to alter, manipulate, or treat so as to give a spuriously (see spurious 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 2fake c)
4 : improvise, ad-lib
  • whistle a few bars … and I'll fake the rest
  • —Robert Sylvester
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.

faker

noun

fakery

play \ˈfā-k(ə-)rē\ noun

Origin and Etymology of fake

originally underworld argot, of obscure origin
Note: The verb fake first appears in print in James Hardy Vaux's "A New and Comprehensive Vocabulary of the Flash Language," in vol. 2 of Hardy's Memoirs (London, 1819). The meanings given by Hardy are extremely general: "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 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" may have been part of its original meaning. Attempts have been made to link fake with earlier argot fegue and (rarely) feak "to beat, whip, wear out, bring about the ruin of" (the latter two senses used in Restoration comedy), though these are somewhat unlikely antecedents phonetically and semantically. Perhaps all these words are part of a family of expressive vocabulary, having counterparts in other Germanic languages, with the consonantal frame f--k/g, as suggested by Anatoly Liberman (OUPblog, August 23, 2017).


4

fake

noun

Definition of fake

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

Origin and Etymology of fake

probably derivative of 5fake


5

fake

verb

Definition of fake

faked; faking
: to coil in fakes

Origin and Etymology of fake

Middle English faken, of obscure origin



FAKE Defined for English Language Learners

fake

Definition of fake for English Language Learners

  • : not true or real : meant to look real or genuine but not real or genuine


FAKE Defined for Kids

1

fake

adjective \ ˈfāk \

Definition of fake for Students

: not true or real
  • The fake spider frightened me.

2

fake

noun

Definition of fake for Students

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

3

fake

verb

Definition of fake for Students

faked; faking
1 : pretend 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


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